Author: Virginia Gay Hospital

Free Kites for Kids at the Health & Wellness Fair

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time to recognize the role each of us plays in the lives of children and youth and to raise awareness about child abuse by engaging the community in developing ways to help prevent the abuse and neglect of children. As part of the Benton County Community Health & Wellness Fair event on Saturday, April 1, Benton County Decat/Flourishing Families CPPC and Better Tomorrows will be providing a Kites for Kids event to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The groups strive to provide opportunities for positive parent-child interactions in a community-based environment and raise awareness about local resources that can help struggling parents Children attending the event will receive free kites to fly to symbolize hope, a happy childhood and a chance to soar, things that many local children do not experience. According to recent statistics, 8,295 Iowa children were abused in 2014, which is 22 to 23 per day. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa statistics show there were 48 reports of child abuse in Benton County. “This is the first year Benton County Decat/Flourishing Families CPPC and Better Tomorrows has hosted this event,” Heidi Schminke (Co-Director) said. “We are excited to offer it as part of the Health Fair and plan to offer other prevention activities during the month of April that will also support family engagement activities. In many...

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Health and Wellness Fair set for Saturday, April 1

Health is Cool! Don’t be Fooled! Virginia Gay Hospital is encouraging all Benton County residents to attend the Third Annual Benton County Community Health & Wellness Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 1 from 8 am to Noon. The event begins at the Vinton Skate & Activity Center, 1703 C Ave in Vinton with additional activities planned at the parking lot of the Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School. This is a free event open to all ages. Plans include over 30 displays covering a variety of health and wellness topics as well as activities for individuals and families. New this year will be the addition of activities like a human foosball tournament with teams of six (ages 10 and over) competing for bragging rights as Benton County’s First Human Foosball Champs and free kites for kids provided by Benton Iowa Decat & Better Tomorrows. Additional highlights include a limited supply of free weather radios and emergency backpacks for fair attendees generously supplied by the Vinton Fareway and the Disaster Recovery Coalition. Britley Ritz, from KCRG will be broadcasting the weather live from 8-9 am and the Vinton Police Department’s K-9 office, Gino will be on hand from 10-11 am. For complete event details, just visit the fair’s website at www.bentoncohealthfair.com Another important feature that morning will be the free health screenings. There will be healthy child screenings (development, hearing & dental), depression screenings...

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Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab Receives 11 Customer Care Awards

Jessica Henkle, RN-BC, and director of Virginia Gay Hospital’s Nursing and Rehab unit, has announced that Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab has received quality awards from an independent survey company in 11 categories of care. The award categories earned by the Virginia Gay staff this year include: Admission Process, Cleanliness, Communication from Facility, Individual Needs, Laundry Service, Nursing Care, Overall Customer Experience, Overall Satisfaction, Recommend to Others, Response to Problems, and Safety and Security. “There were 14 Iowa care facilities receiving awards from Pinnacle Surveys,” explains Jess, “and only one other facility received awards in 11 categories. The average number of awards received by a facility was four.” Pinnacle is an independent company conducting surveys of VGH Nursing and Rehab patients and their loved ones. The surveys are anonymous and are conducted over the phone by trained Pinnacle staff members. Pinnacle conducts over 150,000 phone surveys each year and works with more than 2,300 care providers in all 50 US states, Canada and Puerto Rico.   “Delivering high-quality customer experience in a skilled nursing facility is uniquely challenging,” says Jess. “Implementing new procedures, changes in staff members and scheduling, and doctors making changes to treatment plans can immediately change the care someone receives. That’s why we pay close attention to our Pinnacle survey results as they come in each month, along with the annual awards.” Pinnacle samples and delivers...

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Repealing an Iowa law could negatively impact rural Iowans’ access to health care

Iowa has one of the highest quality, lowest cost health care systems in the United States. And at the heart of that system are 118 community hospitals that stand ready, every day and every night, to serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. A move is underway in Des Moines to change an Iowa law, the Certificate Of Need legislation, that we think might threaten rural health care. The law, enacted in 1977, was designed to avoid duplication of medical services to keep costs down for patients. In Iowa this law, requiring approval of new facilities costing $1.5 Million or more, has worked very well. Critics of the law are now saying it “stifles competition” and eliminating the law would lead to private investment in new medical facilities providing more choices, and therefore, lower costs. We think those critics fail to understand the realities of living in rural Iowa. What’s most important for rural communities isn’t the opportunity to go shopping for doctors or surgeries like critics imagine, it is an emergency department close-by and staffed to respond when needed. What’s important is a relationship with a primary care provider and access to the technology needed to provide for your health. What’s at stake is the future of rural Iowa and the health of rural Iowans. The new facilities built without oversight won’t be located in small towns....

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More time for patients, less time for computers is the goal for Augmedix at the Vinton Family Medical Clinic

Even though you know distracted driving isn’t safe, you’ve probably driven down the road looking for something on the seat next to you, or worse yet, looked at your phone when you should have been looking at the road. Your health care provider is required to record the results of your visits in an electronic health record (EHR) and that has created doctors and other health care providers who sometimes seem more concerned with the computer than they are with you. Health care providers and patients are both frustrated with the situation. Starting soon, Virginia Gay’s Vinton Family Medical Clinic will use new technology to improve accuracy and eliminate distractions. Called Augmedix, the system allows assistants in a remote location to have all the information they need to make the notes and check all the boxes required for each visit. Your health care provider is still responsible for the accuracy of the information and is required to review and approve each record before it becomes permanent, but instead of trying to capture information during your visit or from memory afterward, everything is done by a highly trained technician. Click here to see a short video about Augmedix on the Virginia Gay Hospital website. Patients can request that the glasses transmitting the information be turned off and the assistants be excluded from highly sensitive parts of their visit, or they...

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Virginia Gay’s family medical clinics welcome two new health care providers

Two new health care providers have started seeing patients at Virginia Gay’s family medical clinics. At present the two new providers will be helping in Vinton and the other Virginia Gay clinics in Atkins, Van Horne, and Urbana. Ben Nigg, PA-C, grew up in Solon, Iowa, so the small town of Vinton doesn’t require much of an adjustment. Ben was a member of the most recent class of PA students to graduate from the nationally recognized program at the University of Iowa.  Abby Stermer, PA-C, is originally from Colorado Springs and was featured in last fall’s issue of Virginia Gay’s “Thrive” magazine when she was here as a student intern. Both are recent graduates of the Physician Assistant program at the University of Iowa. “We’re very pleased to have Abby and Ben join us to see patients in the clinics,” says Mike Riege, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator, “with their help we will be making some strides toward reducing the time it takes for patients to get an appointment.” To learn more about Abby and Ben, visit the new Virginia Gay Hospital website.       http://virginiagayhospital.org/uncategorized/virginia-gays-family-medical-clinics-welcome-two-new-providers/...

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Lymphedma symptoms and treatment

This article was contributed by Molly Gardeman, COTA/L, CLT,  an occupational therapist with Virginia Gay Hospitals and Clinics. In this article she shares information about lymphedema, the buildup of lymph fluid creating problems with swelling, most often in the arms or legs. The lymphatic system is your body’s drainage network consisting of lymph vessels. Lymph vessels help regulate fluid levels and provide protection against infection.  The lymph vessels do their work by pushing excess fluid, or “lymph,” through filters throughout your body called “lymph nodes.” Lymph nodes remove bacteria and other debris from the lymph fluid before draining into your bloodstream.  “Lymphedema” is the buildup of abnormally thick lymph fluid creating swelling most often in one or both the arms or legs.  This condition typically develops when lymph nodes or lymph vessels have been damaged, removed, are impaired or even missing resulting in the blockage or interruption in the flow of the lymph. There are two types of lymphedema – primary or secondary.  Primary lymphedema is a rare, inherited condition which causes problems with the development of lymph vessels throughout your body.  Examples of primary lymphedema include congenital lymphedema (Milroy’s Disease), early-onset lymphedema (Meige’s Disease), or late-onset lymphedema.  Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage to your lymph nodes or lymph vessels. The damage can  be the result of infection, injury or trauma, scar tissue formation, surgery, cancer or radiation...

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Virginia Gay Hospital asks public to take a short online survey about area access to primary care

Virginia Gay Hospitals and Clinics is asking everyone, both those who have and those who have not been patients of the hospital or its affiliated family medical clinics, to take a survey regarding area access to primary care. Answers are completely anonymous and the purpose is to understand how to better assure access to primary care. Virginia Gay has made investments establishing the new clinic in Atkins, an expansion to the clinic in Van Horne, and the hospital continues to study additional services that may be needed in Urbana. All those investments are in addition to the new clinic being constructed in Vinton that will be suitable for as many as nine health care providers. In the past two months three additional PA’s have been added to the Virginia Gay staff. Julie Samora, PA-C, will be assisting in the hospital and the emergency department. Ben Nigg, PA-C, and Abby Stermer, PA-C, will be seeing patients in several clinic locations. “Our mission is providing primary care,” explains Mike Riege, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator, “but we need everyone’s help to make certain we’re doing all we can to make access possible for everyone. This survey isn’t limited to patients of Virginia Gay. We want to understand more clearly the choices people make to receive health care and how we might improve our ability to serve everyone in the Virginia Gay primary...

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Community Blood Drive at Virginia Gay Hospital

Thank you to all the Lifesavers in our community! You really make a difference. Virginia Gay Hospital partners with LifeServe Blood Center to organize community blood drives. Every two seconds, someone, somewhere needs blood so the donors who take time to roll up their sleeve and participate truly are lifesavers. Thanks to those who donated at Virginia Gay Hospital, 112 units of blood were collected in 2016 saving as many as 336 lives! If you would like to participate in the next blood drive scheduled an appointment for Tuesday, January 24 from 1-5:30 pm. It will be in the cafeteria area located on the lower level of the hospital (502 N. 9th Avenue, Vinton). Schedule your time at bit.ly/VGHBloodDrives2017 or call LifeServe Blood Center at 800.287.4903. Who can give blood? You may be eligible to donate if you are in general good health and: Are 16 years of age or older (16/17 with parental consent). Weigh at least 120 pounds. Have allowed proper time period to pass between previous donations. Have blood pressure, pulse, temperature & hemoglobin levels that meet LifeServe Blood Center guidelines. Are not pregnant. Are not taking antibiotics for an infection. Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab sponsors community blood drives about six times each year. For blood donation questions & answers, please visit www.myvgh.org and search blood donation or call LifeServe Blood...

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Influenza on the rise; know the difference between the flu and a cold

The CDC reports that flu season is now getting into full swing with more people being diagnosed. They also report that this year’s vaccine is matching the most commonly diagnosed strains, and that people should still seek immunization if they haven’t already been immunized. Most people throw around the word “flu” so commonly that it’s difficult to think of influenza as an emergency, but it can be, and not just for the young or old. At the end of this article is a link to an ABC News story about a 29 year old mother of three who died from influenza, leaving behind the children and a husband who survived service in Afghanistan. Once again, let’s start by reviewing the most significant differences between a cold and the flu. One condition comes on gradually, fever is rare, aches are slight if any, and chills are uncommon. Sneezing, a stuffy nose and sore throat are common. Chest discomfort occurs but it’s mild to moderate and is often accompanied by a hacking cough. Headache is rare. You probably recognized these symptoms as those of the common cold, and you are right. Now let’s review influenza. Influenza comes on much more abruptly and fever is usually present and persists for 3 to 4 days. Chills are very common and achiness can leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus. Sneezing,...

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Meet Julie Samora, a new face in Virginia Gay Hospital

For Julie Samora, PA-C, Vinton is almost a different world from Miami, where she received her education and worked. “I came to Virginia Gay for a visit in October. I rented a car at the Cedar Rapids airport and it took about 2 minutes. I walked less than a block outside to the car, and everything just seemed so easy that it felt like heaven. I was looking for the quality of life I could enjoy while working in health care, and what really excited me about Vinton and Iowa was how everyone here is so nice and so helpful….I’m still a bit amazed.” Julie’s position at Virginia Gay will include emergency and work as a hospitalist. She will also help in the clinics when needed. “I’m very excited about this opportunity because I’m going to enjoy a much wider array of experiences than most PA’s typically get. No one I know from my program in Miami has been offered an opportunity like this. But then again, they haven’t considered Iowa.” “When I was visiting emergency medicine residency programs I would ask myself if it felt right – if I could see myself living and working in that place long term. I visited three programs in California and I liked it there, but I couldn’t see myself staying. When I first visited Iowa for an interview at Virginia Gay...

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Get emergency and urgent health information from Benton County Public Health and Virginia Gay Hospital by email or text

Get the most accurate public health information with greater speed by sharing your email address and/or cell number with Virginia Gay Hospital and the Benton County Public Health Department. Your information will not be shared with any other organization and will be used to contact you with public health information in the event of a public health emergency, or with other urgent information relevant to Virginia Gay’s mission of providing excellent health care for all residents of Benton County. An example of the need to communicate quickly occurred last week when Virginia Gay’s phone service was disrupted because a cable was cut in Cedar Rapids. It was several hours before service was restored and residents had no information about the outage while their calls resulted in a busy signal. Click HERE to provide basic contact information and your preference for receiving notifications via text, email, or both. If the link doesn’t work you can also use the following link to register. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/vgh_notfications Unsubscribing is quick and easy if in the future you wish to discontinue receiving notices. Sign-up to receive emergency and health related...

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