Author: Virginia Gay Hopsital

“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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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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