Author: Vinton Today

2017 Anthony Scholarship awarded to Alyssa Bahr

Alyssa Bahr, Certified Nursing Assistant at Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab, was awarded the Dr. Tony Anthony Scholarship on Tuesday, August 15. Dottie Anderson, Don Eells and Robin Martin were all on hand for the presentation of the $500 award. The Anthony Scholarship was made from a donation from the Anthony Family in gratitude for the care Dr. Anthony received while he was a resident of Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab. The scholarship is available annually to an employee of Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab to further their education. Alyssa has always been intrigued by human anatomy and chose to start her nursing career at Virginia Gay Hospital. She was born and raised in Colorado but moved to Iowa three years ago with her husband. Currently she lives in Garrison and has been with Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab for the last year. Her future plans include attending Kirkwood for their RN program, starting in January, 2018. Her hope is that becoming an RN is just the next step in furthering her career. Her dream job would be a position as a medical examiner. When asked what her experience at Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab has been, she replied, “Knowledgeable … I’ve learned far more then I ever expected.” She’s also pleased when residents compliment her on a positive attitude and smile. “I enjoy it when I can make...

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Lighten your load with Backpack Awareness

by Elizabeth Bonorden, OTR/L | Virginia Gay Hospital Therapy Services It’s that time of year again. The school tours have been done, home rooms have been assigned, meet the teacher night is around the corner, and the school supply lists will soon be sent. One of the most important hot ticket items, along with pastel and glitter gel pens and colorful trapper keepers is the backpack that will carry it all. As practical (and as fashionable) as backpacks are, they often become too heavy and used incorrectly, an unfortunate result of the mad dash that is the school year. Fast Facts: In one study with student’s ranging in age from 11 to 15 years, 64% reported back pain related to heavy backpacks and twenty one percent reported the pain lasting more than 6 months1. What is worse is that more than 2,000 backpack-related injuries were treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics in 20072, most of which could have been prevented with education on proper backpack wear and use. Easy as 1, 2, 3! The first step to prevention of backpack pain is choosing the backpack that is the best fit for your child. When selecting the backpack, make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level or slightly above the waist. Shoulder straps should be well padded...

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Progress continues on the Vinton Family Medical Clinic Expansion Project

Work is continuing as planned on new construction for the Vinton Family Medical Clinic. Window framing has begun with doors and flooring scheduled to be installed next. This first phase is nearing completion. The second phase of the project that follows consists of the demolition of much of the existing clinic and remodeling of the small portion of the original clinic still remaining. The new clinic will have space for nine medical providers and their support staff. Improvements in patient privacy will be seen from check-in to check-out, and there will be more space in the waiting room. Goals within the new facility include the addition of mental health support. That initiative received a major boost in May, 2017 with a $50,000 donation from Cargill with the involvement of Tom and Cindi Stueck. Project fundraising is also nearly complete, with 92% of the $1.5 million goal having been met. Robin Martin, Director of the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation is encouraging anyone who hasn’t already pledged to make a donation. “Virginia Gay is an independent, non-profit that doesn’t receive financial support from tax dollars. Funding is dependent on what is received from providing services to patients and the generous support of our community,” states Martin. “Your donation to the Foundation and this project, makes a difference in the health of our community every day.” Donations may be placed...

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Putting People First

VGH’s Atkins Family Medical Clinic shows how a “People Forward” purpose makes a difference (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/) When families choose Virginia Gay’s Atkins Family Medical Clinic, they’re choosing to receive care and services from people who have grown-up near Atkins, or have lived there for many years. Brenda Werning is an example of the connection Virginia Gay’s employees have to the Benton Community area and to Atkins. Growing up in Blairstown and graduating from Benton Community schools, Brenda has worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Virginia Gay for 20 years. She’s an athlete herself, and has certifications as a Pilates Instructor and as a Strength Training Specialist. Brenda also coaches soccer for her kids’ soccer league, in addition to all she does at home and at work. “I thoroughly enjoy my work,” explains Brenda, “in part because I get the opportunity to help people who are our friends and neighbors.” Joining Brenda in offering therapy services in Atkins is VGH therapy director Stacey Hodges, Molly Gardemann, and Ross Hanson. Stacey believes that providing personal attention and knowing not just patients, but entire families, makes work at Virginia Gay more enjoyable, and that leads to better outcomes for patients. “It isn’t uncommon,” Stacey says, “to go on a home health visit and during...

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Belle Plaine Health and Wellness Fair set for September

Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation are announcing plans to sponsor a health and wellness fair at the Belle Plaine Community Center on Saturday, September 30. They are currently seeking health and safety-related businesses or organizations to share their expertise (i.e., free booth or presentation) regarding a healthy lifestyle with the greater Belle Plaine community. Hours for this free event have been set for 8 am to Noon. Plans are still in progress but currently the event will include information booths, health screenings, welcome bags & give-a-ways with representatives from ASAC, Benton County Above the Influence Coalition, Medicare Patrol, Benton County Volunteer Program, HACAP, 1st Five, Virginia Gay Hospital, Virginia Gay Home Health, Virginia Gay Imaging and MORE! Booth space for this event is free to interested exhibitors. Interested businesses and organizations are encouraged to sign-up online at bit.ly/bp_vghhealthfair or contact Robin Martin, Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation director and the event committee chair for this event, by phone at 319-472-6375 or by email at rmartin@vghinc.com. The registration deadline is September 8, 2017, but keep in mind that booth space is limited. “This will be a great one stop event for all ages for a variety of health, safety and wellness resources. We’ve been successfully hosting a similar event in Vinton for the last couple year’s and felt it important to bring it...

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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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