Author: Vinton Today

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 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 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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Custom Millwork & Finishing: Fighting Back Against the Extinction of the Worker

On the edge of Vinton, nestled back on a gravel road, sits Custom Millwork & Finishing, a growing millwork manufacturer in their 11th year of business. It starts with owners Kim and Robert and their commitment to producing the very best products possible. “We started the business, in 2006, because we saw a need in the market to provide a quality prefinished product that was also competitively priced,” explains Kim. The secret of their success isn’t complicated; source materials from the best vendors and put them in the hands of a workforce taking pride in the quality of their work – but what do you do, when the workforce is lacking the “force”? “People aren’t willing to get their hands dirty anymore,” Robert admits, “I think Mike Rowe nailed it on the head ­– The willingness to get dirty has always defined us as a nation. It’s a hallmark of hard work, and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” Robert talks about their commitment to products made in the Midwest and in Iowa saying, “We realize how important industry is to communities in Iowa and the Midwest. That’s why we do all we can to rely on suppliers who purchase raw materials close to home and employ local people who take pride in what they do.” Kim and Robert have continually added benefits for their...

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We are better together

We quietly passed the 7th anniversary of Vinton Today, and once again we would appreciate any support you might be willing to give. Giving you the news free of charge is what we do. We receive support from our many advertisers, but each year our fund drive provides what we need to, quite literally, keep the wheels on. We were able to completely update our website last year, thanks to your generous donations. Now we’re able to include video with our stories and the general design is more contemporary and complete. Vinton isn’t an island, and with that in mind we expanded the website to include sections devoted to the rest of Benton County. Those sections aren’t carrying a lot of traffic yet, but just as Vinton Today took time to grow, we think having those sections will be a great investment in the years to come. We believe it is an investment because we believe our part of the world can be made a bit stronger if all the communities in our county can share the same information and have the same rapid access to news affecting their community. Finally, we strive to put our community’s best foot forward rather than reciting the news most news outlets thrive on. We’re not afraid to be a little slower if we can also be a lot more accurate. We’re not...

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Thank you to all who participated in the Third Annual Benton County Health & Wellness Fair

The Third Annual Benton County Community Health & Wellness Fair was well attended by the community with over 400 people in attendance. A wide range of health and wellness and community services were provided. Virginia Gay Hospital is engaged in population health providing awareness to the public of services available. Winners of prize drawings: ISU Bag/VU Value Dollars: James Stevenson Prize #2: Wendy Frentress Prize #3: Marie Burns Prize #4: Tik Coberly Donations made by: Virginia Gay Hospital, Fareway, Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition, The Red Cross, Koop’s Automotive, LaGrange Pharmacy, Friends of the Shelter, Farm to School, VORC, Vinton Unlimited, Vinton Country Club, Palace Theater, Wilson-Hite Insurance, Old School Produce, Barron Chiropractic, The Abbe Center. Virginia Gay Hospital would like to thank the Benton County Community Health Care Committee! Your investment, talents and services made a difference and helped to offer a wonderful community event providing education and information on access. Members include: Bobbie Hendryx, Melissa Smith, Heidi Schminke, David Condry, Diana Strahan, Greg Walston, Lindsey Ungs, Melissa Schwan, Carol Zander, Jim Mayhew, Beth Mayhew, Leslie McKibben, Ted Paxton, Matt Boggess, Brad Barker, Erin Monaghan, Jenny Barnett, Mary Jo Hainstock, David Kelchen and Virginia Gay Hospital Departments: Home Health, Vinton Family Medical Clinic, Dietary, Imaging, Human Resources, Nursing and Rehab, Rehab Visions Therapy. Virginia Gay Hospital would like to thank Fareway (Vinton) for donating weather radios, the Benton...

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