MHP Provides Soup with a Side of Motivation

(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – Mahaska Health Partnership is sponsoring a four-part learning series called, “Soups on Us,” which offers enlightening facts and motivational tips to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

These events are scheduled from Noon to 1 PM on their respective dates (below) at the Mahaska County YMCA conference room. They are free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a free soup lunch, provided by MHP.

According to MHP Registered Dietitian Lea Rice, most people will come to a crossroad at some point in time where they find themselves re-assessing their lifestyle choices. They begin to realize that how they eat and how much sleep they get makes a difference in our quality of life.

“The challenge is knowing what truly has an impact, how to implement changes and then how to stay on track,” Rice explains. “This series will provide simple and practical approaches to meeting our needs.”

“Portion Distortion” will be held on Thursday, March 15. Rice will discuss how large portions lead to eating excess calories. She will also offer simple tips such as eating off smaller plates, using appropriate size glasses and measuring food for portion control. She’ll compare portion sizes from 20 years ago to portion sizes today. Attendees will learn how the portion sizes have grown over the years, leading to an increase in obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

“Hypertension” will be held on Thursday, March 29. Renee Edgar, RN, will be explain how high blood pressure, or hypertension, is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it does not cause symptoms unless it is severely high. Edgar will also explain how major organ damage can occur without the person’s knowledge. Participants will also learn steps they can take to lower their blood pressure.

“Healthy Sleep” will be held on Thursday, April 12. MHP Polysomnographer and Sleep Center Coordinator Kai Schwab, RPSGT, RST, will explain why sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle and what the new recommendations are for the amount of sleep needed. You will learn about common sleep problems (insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome) as well as current treatments.

“Stop Diabetes in Its Tracks” will be held on Thursday, April 26. MHP Diabetes Educator Sharon Ferguson, RN, CDE and Rice will delve into the impact of family history, pre-diabetes and diabetes. Learn how to make simple lifestyle changes that will have a huge impact on your health.

While attendance is free, pre-registration for each of the Soups on Us events is required. Please call 641-672-3303 to reserve your spot.

UnityPoint Health Receives Inspired Award

(GRINNELL, Iowa) UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center underwent a cultural climate change in early 2015 by educating GRMC staff using materials from Values Coach, Inc. Then in February 2018, GRMC employees received the Joe Tye Inspired Award for exhibiting excellence in both values and culture.

“GRMC is just the third hospital in America to receive this award,” says Joe Tye, CEO of Values Coach, Inc. “And a trailblazer for many more to follow.”

GRMC welcomed 27 team members to become Certified Values Coach Trainers and also team-taught The Twelve Core Action Values to their fellow GRMC employees. Each employee has completed the two-day values course, and all new hires complete the course as part of new employee orientation. The twelve core action values are woven into every job description and account for 50 percent of every performance evaluation.

The Values Team at GRMC meets regularly to discuss ways to enhance organizational culture and operational effectiveness. More than 20 new projects were launched under the guidance of this team.

As a demonstration of how this program has changed the lives of their staff, GRMC collected more than 50 stories from employees. These will be published in a book for employees in May.

In its most recent patient satisfaction survey results from fourth quarter 2017, GRMC ranked in the 95 percentile for the question “would you recommend the hospital?” GRMC also received the top score for overall hospital rating. All of these accomplishments factored into GRMC’s receipt of the award.

“Our staff is truly amazing. The board of directors and GRMC administration wanted to invest in our employees and their satisfaction, both personally and professionally,” says Doris Rindels, interim GRMC CEO. “The Core Value program enriches our employees’ lives and creates a greater culture here at GRMC for our patients. It’s had a positive impact on our organization.”

-This information was provided in a news release sent from staff at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

Pictured (L – R): Todd Linden, former GRMC president and CEO; Janet Lacey, Josey Van Weelden and Julie Buck, members of the values committee; Doris Rindels, interim CEO of UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and Joe Tye. Photo provided by GRMC.




Childhood Vaccination Rates Climb in Iowa

(DES MOINES, IA) — Childhood vaccination rates in Iowa are above the national average, according to a new study by the Blue Cross® Blue Shield® Association (BCBSA). A total of more than 74 percent of Iowa children were up-to-date on their CDC-recommended vaccinations, compared to 73.5 percent nationally. Data also shows 70.6 percent of young Wellmark members born in 2010 were fully vaccinated by the age of 2 years and 3 months compared to 78.7 percent of children born in 2013. This is also above the national average of 69 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

“Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from harmful diseases,” said Dr. Tim Gutshall, Wellmark’s chief medical officer. “Recommendations for which vaccinations are needed and when, can change over time. That’s why it’s important to schedule an annual well-child visit with your family doctor to stay up-to-date on vaccinations and discuss any additional health concerns.”

Missed well-child visits were the largest reason, nationally, for under vaccination, accounting for 62 percent of under-vaccinated cases for children born in 2013. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 visits to the pediatrician by age two.

The study also found in Iowa, 1.1 percent of medical claims analyzed were coded with a parental vaccination refusal from 2010 through 2016, compared to 3.3 percent nationally. Refusal rates climbed nationally from 2.5 percent for children born in 2010 to 4.2 percent for children born in 2013.

This is the 17th study of the Blue Cross Blue Shield: The Health of America Report® series, a collaboration between BCBSA and Blue Health Intelligence®, which uses a market-leading claims database to uncover key trends and insights into health care affordability and access to care. Analysis was performed by and also includes medical claims data from HealthCore®, a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Anthem, Inc.

For more information, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica.

MHP offers flu clinics until further notice

MAHASKA COUNTY – In response to the widespread level of influenza in the Oskaloosa community, the MHP Medical Group is now offering a flu vaccine clinic Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm by registering at door #4 on the MHP campus, until further notice.

According to Executive Director of Clinics Andrea Hagist, RN, MSN, people can stop by with no restrictions and no appointment, and insurance can be billed. “It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination,” Hagist said. “Health officials say that influenza will continue to circulate in the US and typically peaks in February. Getting vaccinated now will still offer protection for most of the flu season.”

Hagist said it’s always good practice to use the 3 Cs: Cover your cough or sneezes; Clean your hands often; and Contain germs by staying home when ill.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the predominant flu strain this season is AH3N2, which typically causes serious illnesses, hospitalizations and even death, particularly for those who are very young or old and those with weakened immune systems. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. It comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days, and often puts healthy people in bed for days.

“Remember, serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people, including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children,” Hagist stressed.

“It’s also important to contact your health care provider as soon as possible after flu symptoms begin, especially if you are at high risk of complications and serious disease. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be significantly reduced.”


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