Author: Vinton Today

Samantha Frost joins Virginia Gay Hospital & Clinics

Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics newest Physician Assistant, Samantha Frost, knows a lot about small town living. She grew up in Gilbertville, Iowa, where her dad runs the Gilbertville Locker. Many years ago Samantha’s mother worked as a lab tech in Vinton, but that was about her only experience with the community before her rotation. “I wanted to practice in a small town because I’m a very family-oriented person,” explains Samantha. “I want to help people grow and live good lives in the company of their families and friends, which is often easier to accomplish in a small town.” With an undergraduate degree from Mt. Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Samantha continued her schooling, getting a master’s degree in anatomy. Realizing she wanted to do something related to science led her to apply to the Physician Assistant program at Des Moines University. “The hardest decision,” Samantha says, “was during my rotational year when it was time to decide what kind of practice to pursue after my PA education. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I didn’t like surgery, but I did like caring for kids, in part because they present so many challenges. It was realizing that I liked variety and challenges, along with the chance to work with pediatric patients that led me into family practice as a PA-C.” Samantha learned about Virginia Gay...

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First Human West Nile Virus Case of the Season is Confirmed in Iowa

Virginia Gay Hospital and the Benton County Department of Public Health received notice today of the following announcement from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). The announcement states that the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa in 2017. A middle age (41-60 years) Ida County male tested positive for the virus. He was not hospitalized, and is recovering. In addition, surveillance has identified four mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile (one in Polk County, two in Pottawattamie County and one in Story County). “West Nile virus season typically lasts from late summer into early autumn,” said IDPH Deputy Epidemiologist, Dr. Ann Garvey. “This case serves as a reminder to all Iowans that the West Nile virus is present and it’s important for Iowans to use insect repellent when outdoors.” Melissa Smith, RN, BSN, Director of Home Health/Public Health suggests you should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus: Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children...

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Summer Picnic Safety Reminders

July is National Picnic Month and it makes perfect sense to celebrate with all of our favorite foods shared with family and friends. But warm summer temperatures increase issues with food borne germs and it’s this time of year that incidences of food poisoning peak. Melissa Smith, RN, BSN, Director of Home Health/Public Health at Virginia Gay Hospital, shares some tips for preparing and serving food to help you avoid being one of the 48 million Americans who gets food poisoning each year. Keep Foods Cool Keep in mind that food poisoning increases this time of year because bacteria will grow faster in warmer temperatures. Eating perishable items that have been left in the “danger zone” (between 40ºF to 140ºF for too long can make you ill. That means you want to keep uncooked meat, poultry and seafood chilled (in the fridge or cooler, below 40ºF) until you ready to place it on the grill. And get leftovers put in the freezer or fridge within two hours of cooking (make that one hour if the outdoor temperature is 90º or more). Cook Meat Thoroughly A safe internal temperature is needed to destroy harmful bacteria in cooked foods. It’s important to never partially grill meat and then finish cooking it later. Don’t forget to use a thermometer to check meat temperatures (145ºF for beef, pork, fish; 160ºF for hamburgers and...

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Reading Rx at VGH Clinics

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Spring/Summer 2017 issue. Online version can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) Reach Out & Read at Virginia Gay clinics is part of a nationwide program touching the lives of 4.7 million children. In 2014  Dr. Maggie Mangold, M.D., agreed to be the program’s medical sponsor, and Jen Blix, LPN, was the lead nurse. Today, in large measure because of Jen’s continued commitment, the program continues to flourish with support from the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation, the local Lions Club, individual donors and the active work of Virginia Gay’s health care providers. “We give books to every young child and, of course, many of them have books in their homes and are read to by parents,” explains Lu Horak, MA, “but we also provide books to families that aren’t as fortunate. Part of our work is to share how important the time spent reading one-on-one is for the development of a child’s ability to read.” Independent research has shown that parents are 2 ½ times more likely to have books in the home and to read to their children as a result of the Reach Out & Read program. Pre-school language development of children is improved by 3 to 6 months. Reach Out & Read touches the lives of 1 in 4 children of low income families in the...

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Fitness Class Opportunity with Community Benefit!

REFIT® fitness instructor, Teresa Erger has announced that the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation’s Reach Out and Read program will benefit from any funds raised through this exercise class in July. The class scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Vinton Skate & Activity Center although occasionally the Thursday class may be held at Kettle Bells also located in Vinton. The cost to participants is a goodwill offering with funds received above the operating cost being donated to local non-profit or special needs. REFIT® is described as “a life-changing group fitness experience that rocks your body, heart, and soul with powerful moves and positive music, to inspire you from the inside out. Powered by human connections, turning boring, have to workouts into I don’t want to miss out on this community fitness experience.” The Reach Out & Read program began in 2014 at Virginia Gay Hospital with presentations to the community by Dr. Maggie Mangold, M.D. and Jen Blix, LPN from the Vinton Family Medical Clinic. A donation of $20 makes it possible to provide books for one child throughout the year. Books are given to young children in all four of the family medical clinics in the Virginia Gay Hospital network (Atkins, Urbana, Van Horne and Vinton). For more information about REFIT®, you can visit their Facebook page and for more information about Virginia...

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Cultivating A Giving Tradition

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Spring/Summer 2017 issue. Online version can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) Because people inevitably suffer from illness or are injured, the need for hospitals never disappears, but the money to operate them sometimes does. Since 2010 the U.S. has lost 80 rural hospitals. In 2016 there were 21 hospitals that ceased providing inpatient services, though a few of that number still provide outpatient or emergency care. Throughout its history, the relationship between Virginia Gay Hospital and families working the land has saved the hospital more than once. Virginia Gay Hospital opened in 1923 with the founding gift made by Mrs. Virginia Walcutt Gay. It closed in 1925 for lack of funds. It reopened in 1927 with $3,361 in donations from the Federated Women’s Clubs of Vinton. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the hospital was once again in danger of closing. Keith Elwick recently shared how he came to be involved in supporting Virginia Gay Hospital long before he enjoyed success with Hawk-Bilt and eventually served as a Virginia Gay Hospital board member. “Our first experience with Virginia Gay was when our first baby was going to be born,” Keith says. “None of us had been born in a hospital so this was going to be something completely new. Janet came into the hospital ready to deliver baby Jean, and...

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Summer Snack Hacks

“There isn’t anything to eat, Mom!”  This is a phrase that parents hear all too often and even more so in the summer months when kids are on summer vacation. So what do you feed your kids that they will like and that’s also nutritious for them? Here are some examples of quick on-the-go snacks for kids to tide them over between meals. Popcorn With 4 grams of fiber per 3 cup serving this snack is sure to fill them up. Additions such as cinnamon sugar, nutritional yeast, or parmesan cheese are sure to keep them coming back for more. Ice pops These hand-held snacks are easy to make using non-fat Greek yogurt, 100% orange juice (or juice of choice), and bits of fruit. Just freeze and eat! Peanut butter or cheese slices Pair either with celery, apples, bananas, whole grain tortillas or crackers. This is good for even those little hands to grab and eat and will be sure to increase their protein and calcium (with the cheese)! English Muffin Pizzas These kid-sized pizzas are a snap to make and can be topped with cheese for added calcium and fruit and/or vegetables to increase the nutritional content. Let the kids use their imagination and create their own masterpieces. Hummus This Middle Eastern dip is nutritious as well as delicious and is easy to make. Pair with whole grain...

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Focused on the Future: A Candid Conversation with Virginia Gay Hospital’s Mike Riege

(Article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Spring/Summer 2017 issue. Online version can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) Health care has been at the front of the national conversation for years now. Where is all of this leading Virginia Gay Hospital? What is the future of health care in Benton County? We sat down for a conversation with Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator Mike Riege to explore those topics and more.    What follows is a lightly edited version of that conversation. Mike, is there anything we can learn from the past about where Virginia Gay might be heading in the future? When I came to Virginia Gay 27 years ago the hospital was just coming off a rough decade where we’d lost a lot of money. I came in as the chief financial officer, so I was very aware of the constraints we were facing, but immediately it was clear that the staff, the community, and our board really wanted Virginia Gay here providing health care for the community. We had everyone rowing in the same direction, and working together means good things are going to happen. Those same feelings are still true today, and as long as we have the support of our patients, our staff and our communities, Virginia Gay will be providing health care to Benton County for a long time to come. Who were some...

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One Soldier’s Story: Henry Van Eschen recalls WWII experiences

(Editor’s Note: This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Spring/Summer 2017 issue. The 0nline version can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) While Henry Van Eschen’s troop ship zig-zagged its way across the Pacific to dodge enemy submarines, his brother Fred was flying Navy planes from bases in the Caribbean, and Henry’s brother Warren was co-piloting B-17s over Nazi controlled territory. Warren’s plane exploded on a bomb run over Berlin and he lost a leg as he was blown free of the plane. Parachuting into France, he was quickly captured and spent the remainder of the war in...

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Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation award $16,000 in scholarships

Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of their annual scholarship awards to area students. This year a total of $12,000 was awarded to high school seniors in the Benton Community, Center Point Urbana and Vinton-Shellsburg school districts and $4,000 to nursing staff members. The Virginia Gay Hospital Scholarship was established in 1992. This year, nine students received awards valued at $1,000 each. These high school seniors were selected in part because they plan to pursue a career in a health profession. Those receiving the award are Carl Gerhold IV and Kamron Korsmo of Benton Community High School; Claire Holtz and Megan Croghan of Center Point – Urbana High School; Kailie Berry, Joy Whitson, Connor Bendull, Haile Engler and Josh Staab of Vinton-Shellsburg Community High School. Three area high school students and two members of the Virginia Gay Hospital nursing staff received the Jeanette M. Miller Scholarship, established in 2014 in memory of a hard-working woman who was careful with what she had, lived frugally, and was generous in taking care of those people and institutions that took care of her. Her donation to the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation will fund this scholarship opportunity for many years to come. This scholarship is awarded annually to students who plan to specifically pursue...

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Virginia Gay Hospital achieves sleep study accreditation with national agency

Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab proudly announces its approval of accreditation status by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for sleep study services. Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care. ACHC is a third-party accreditation organization that has developed these national standards that providers are measured against in order to illustrate their ability to effectively and efficiently deliver quality healthcare products and services to consumers. By choosing a healthcare provider that has achieved ACHC accreditation, you can take comfort in knowing that you will receive the highest quality of care. The Accreditation Commission for Health Care is a not-for-profit organization that has stood as a symbol for quality and excellence since 1986. ACHC is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has CMS Deeming Authority for Home Health, Hospice and DMEPOS. Established in 1923 with a gift from former Vinton resident and Ohio philanthropist Virginia Gay Walcutt Gay, Virginia Gay Hospital is an independent, non-profit hospital with four clinics in Benton County in addition to the 25 bed critical access hospital located in Vinton. “This national accreditation for our sleep study services is another milestone in providing the very best care for our patients,” says Kim Frank, Director of Human...

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It’s Purse-A-Palooza time at the VFMC

Bidding has started for the Third Annual Purse-A-Palooza at the Vinton Family Medical Clinic. The silent auction began at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 24th and will continue through 5 p.m. Friday, May 5th. The public is welcome to stop in and place their bids anytime during regular clinic hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 7 am-5pm; Tuesday & Thursday from 7 am-6 pm and Saturday morning 8 am – Noon. You’ll find everything from purses to beach bags stuffed with all kinds of surprises. All the items up for bid have been generously donated by the clinic staff with proceeds going to support improved equipment, special programs, and facilities through the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation’s annual campaign. To learn more about Virginia Gay Hospital, it’s clinics and the Virginia Gay Health Care Foundation, visit...

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