MRHC’s Amy McLaughlin Earns HFMA Certification

Amy McLaughlin

Amy McLaughlinAmy McLaughlin, Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s (MRHC) Chief Financial Officer, recently earned her designation as a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA). Following the completion of the Certified Healthcare Financial Professional exam, McLaughlin’s continued volunteerism, years of service with the lowa Chapter, and letter of recommendation allowed McLaughlin to be recognized as a Fellow of HFMA.

“MRHC is so fortunate to have Amy leading our organization through the financial challenges of rural healthcare,” said MRHC CEO Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “This recognition further demonstrates Amy’s financial expertise and leadership in healthcare finances.”

Fellowship is awarded to HFMA members who have demonstrated financial expertise and leadership by using personal financial knowledge and skills in voluntary community service. HFMA Fellows recognize and accept the responsibility of utilizing healthcare finance professional skills for community benefit.

McLaughlin has been an HFMA member with the Iowa Chapter for seven years. She has served the lowa Chapter as a member of the Board of Directors, the Programming Committee, and the Women’s Conference Committee.

“All of the roles I have had the opportunity to serve in for HFMA have been rewarding, but it was a very fulfilling experience serving on the Board of Directors,” shared McLaughlin, CPA. “I got an inside look at all the hard work that takes place behind the scenes to make our chapter as successful as it is. I also got to know some of the officers and other volunteers a little better which I’m very appreciative of.”

MRHC Contributes to Community Beyond Healthcare

MRHC exterior

As a non-profit, critical access hospital, the mission and purpose of Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) is to serve those in the local community and provide a public benefit. Quality healthcare has a large community and economic impact, and it is essential for attracting other industries. Hospitals are generally among the largest employers. They offer highly educated, well-paying jobs and physicians are essential to maintaining operations.

“In addition to providing healthcare through the services we offer, we also provide widespread benefits to support our community,” said Chief Executive Officer, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA.

Community Impact

MRHC offers a variety of community education events, trainings, and clinics such as CPR, AED & First Aid training classes, blood drives, monthly wellness clinics, blood pressure clinics, concussion testing at the high school, and walk-in flu shot clinics. They also hold and participate in educational events, such as the Bike Rodeo, babysitting courses, Suicide Prevention Walk, Live Healthy Iowa Healthiest State Walk, Senior Fun Day, and Medicare Enrollment. Many of these efforts have a direct impact on the local economy and overall community health.

Most notably, MRHC held a Healthcare Career Camp for IKM-Manning middle and high school students to have an immersive experience learning about a variety of careers available within healthcare. This effort was recently funded by a University of Iowa grant to continue the program for more students and expand the offering to additional school districts.

“We are proud to share that in the past three years, we have provided nearly $100,000 in donations and community health improvement services to benefit our local communities,” shared Block.

MRHC has also supported foundations such as the IKM-Manning Education Foundation, West Central Iowa Healthcare Foundation, American Cancer Society, as well as community organizations such as Little Hawks Childcare Center, Manning Child Care Center, IKM-Manning Color Run, Kinderfest, Trail to Nowhere Bike Ride, Pack the Pantry, Fireman’s Golf Tourney, Main Street Manning, Manning Chamber, Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park, Manning Rotary, and Boy Scouts of America.

Last year, Manning Regional provided $98,873 in charity care and served more than 50 people through those efforts. Charity care is also known as uncompensated health care, which is provided for free, or at a reduced cost, to people with limited income who would otherwise be unable to pay for their treatment. Various types of financial assistance is provided to patients, and community education events and important information about health and well-being are shared through radio ads, news articles, social media, and the MRHC website.

Economic Impact

Economic impact of an organization is often measured in terms of employment, income (payroll and benefits), taxable retail sales and sales tax collections. According to the Iowa Hospital Association, during the most recent reporting period (2022), Manning Regional Healthcare Center provided 160 jobs representing more than $7 million in direct payroll income and an indirect $11.4 million impact on the local economy. The health sector and the employees in the health sector purchase many goods and services from local businesses which are referred to as secondary (or indirect) impacts to the economy.

“We are grateful to be able to make such an impact on our local communities,” said Block. “It takes all aspects of a community working together to be vibrant and strong.”

MRHC Healthcare Career Camp to Expand

healthcare career camp

Like many rural areas, Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) and local ambulance crews continue to see a shortage in medical staff and EMT volunteers. Both ambulance staffing and provider shortages were listed as top five unmet needs in the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment. At the same time, community leaders recognize that it is much easier to attract people to work here who are from the area rather than trying to draw people completely unfamiliar with the area.

With that in mind, MRHC piloted a Healthcare Career Camp in partnership with IKM-Manning Community Schools to provide a hands-on, immersive experience to showcase careers in a hospital setting. This full day began with an ambulance station and students rotated through the emergency room, laboratory, surgery, therapy, clinic, recovery center, and other departments.

“We wanted to spark an interest among middle and high school-age students,” shared MRHC Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN. “We collaborated with the IKM-Manning guidance counselors to form a mutually beneficial partnership. MRHC purchased mannequins and supplies to make it as hands-on and immersive as possible.”

The feedback from the 24 participants was positive, and other local schools started reaching out to participate. MRHC explored financial partnerships to expand the program and were recently awarded a Community Grant from the University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network (BLN) in the amount of $3,000.

This grant is meant “to foster collaboration in Iowa’s smaller communities by addressing areas of identified community health or public health need. The intent is also to begin or strengthen partnerships with business and industry and to link with University of Iowa College of Public Health

experts and resources in community and public health issues,” as stated in the program’s Request for Proposals.

MRHC and IKM-Manning plan to offer an additional camp yet this school year and three other camps to school districts within a 30-mile radius within the next 12 months. The financial assistance of the BLN Grant will help cover the cost of supplies, additional training mannequins, and trainers.

Those interested in learning more about participating in a Healthcare Career Camp can contact their school guidance counselors and schools interested in partnering to offer this experience should contact Michelle Andersen at (712) 655-8220.

MRHC to Focus on Patient Experience in 2023

patient portal

The new year has come with some new opportunities on the horizon for MRHC patients. Throughout the past year, a team of MRHC staff have been working diligently to learn and implement a new electronic health record (EHR) system that will vastly improve patients’ access to care and the overall patient experience.

MRHC has partnered with St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll to implement this electronic record system as St. Anthony has utilized the Meditech My eChart system for a few years now.

“At MRHC, we recognize that our patients’ time is valuable. The new patient portal allows patients to easily access their personal health information online wherever and whenever they want,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Patients will eventually be able to request appointments, pre-register for scheduled appointments, request prescription renewals, and pay bills online.”

This new system allows MRHC to coordinate care across providers, colleagues, and partners; reduce time lost from data transfers between departments or clinics; and communicate more effectively with patients.

“Our theme for the past few weeks has been ‘pardon our progress’ as we realize that this transition is stressful for staff, and we know that once it is launched it might also be overwhelming for patients at first. However, we know that progress is happening, and the end results will be valuable for everyone,” said Block. “Our goal is to continue improving the patient experience while also encouraging our staff to spend more time with the patient and less time in recordkeeping.”

Oftentimes, hospitals can become siloed, but MRHC recognizes that patients deserve to have one point of access, especially for the services accessed under one roof. MRHC benefits from one integrated record across the hospital, emergency department, and clinics as it eliminates gaps in information when patients are transferred from affiliate hospitals and clinics.

“When we first began the research process to determine which patient portal system to transition to, we were attracted to the Meditech EHR,” said Block. “The fact that St. Anthony was already using this system, their staff could help train our team, and ultimately our systems could talk to each other, was very beneficial for our patients and staff. Plus, if a patient wants to receive care at MRHC but is typically seen at St. Anthony, we will now be able to access those records upon the patient’s request, and vice versa. This improves our regional healthcare system and enhances the patient’s healthcare experiences close to home.”

Some of the additional features patients will have access to include requesting appointments; checking in for upcoming appointments; communicating with providers; paying bills online; and viewing visit history, discharge instructions, lab results, radiology reports, their health summary, allergy and medication listings, immunization records, and outstanding balances.

This system also allows patients to keep the most important people in the loop by connecting with providers and giving authorized family members access to their important health information within the online portal.

The go-live date for the online portal is planned for February 15, 2023. To register for the portal, patients are encouraged to set-up an appointment and be seen by their provider. Login credentials will be given to patients at this visit. An app is available for the portal and can be accessed from the Apple or Google Play stores where users can search for and download the Meditech MHealth app.

For any appointment after February 1st, patients will need to bring their driver’s license, insurance card, and medication list. Patients are also asked to arrive early for their next appointment as there will be new forms to fill out for the portal.

Plan Ahead for End-of-Life Medical Care

comforting an elderly lady

Do your loved ones and medical providers know what type of medical treatment you prefer? By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering, and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. You can also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.

An advanced directive is a legal document that explains how you want medical decisions to be made if you cannot make the decisions yourself. This directive lets your healthcare team and loved ones know what kind of health care you want or who you want to make decisions for you when you can’t. An advance directive can help you think ahead about what kind of care you want to receive as well as help guide your loved ones and healthcare team in making clear decisions about your health care when you can’t do it yourself.

“Advance directives help you protect your right to make medical choices that can affect your life,” said Julie Hodne, R.N., Education Coordinator at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “They help your family avoid the responsibility and stress of making difficult decisions on your behalf. Advance directives also help your physician by providing guidelines for your care.”

All patients have rights that include privacy, informed consent, information about your condition, and information about advance directives. Advance directives can protect these rights if you ever become mentally or physically unable to choose or communicate your wishes due to an injury or illness. Advance directives can also limit life-prolonging measures when there is little or no chance of recovery. For example, advance directives may help patients decide if they want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), artificial nutrition or hydration, intubation, ventilators, or dialysis. They can also address your feelings about pain control and comfort care.

Let your values be your guide when creating your advance directives. Consider what is important to you. That may include passing on without pain and suffering, being able to make your own decisions, leaving your family with good memories and not burdening them with difficult decisions, acting according to your religious beliefs, or to be with your loved ones at your time of passing. Discuss your feelings with your family, friends, physician, religious leader, or your lawyer to consider what is best for you.

Advance medical directives are most commonly in the form of a living will or a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Both documents allow you to give directions about your future medical care. To get a durable power of attorney for health care or a living will, you will need to complete a form available from the Iowa State Bar Association.

To receive the form in the mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:  Iowa State Bar Association, 625 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50306, with the following information in the envelope: your full name, address, and date of birth. You can also print and download the selected form here.

Once you have the forms, put your wishes in writing and be as specific as possible. Review your advance directives with your family, friends, physician, and power of attorney (POA). You will need to sign and date your advance directives and have them witnessed and notarized.

Keep a copy in a safe and secure place and provide a copy to your physician to be kept as part of your medical records. Your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare will also need a copy. Give copies to a relative or friend who is likely to be notified in an emergency. Review your advance directives regularly and make changes when necessary. Inform you physician, family, and POA of any changes.

Another document to be considered for any individual who is frail and elderly or who has a chronic critical medical condition, or a terminal illness is the IPOST form. IPOST stands for the IOWA PHYSICIAN ORDERS for SCOPE OF TREATMENT. The original form is strongly encouraged to be accompanied by the person it is written for. You can discuss this with your medical provider and find more information about IPOST from the Iowa Department of Public Health here.

Hodne suggests that “if you need help preparing your advance directives or if you would like more information, contact your legal counsel, healthcare provider, or any hospital, hospice, home health agency, or long-term care facility.” Hodne reminds everyone that “planning is the key to protecting your rights!”

Dream Lights Tree Tradition Continues

The West Central Iowa Healthcare Foundation’s holiday tradition of lighting Main Street in Manning with Dream Lights Trees continues. The Dream Lights campaign has taken many forms over the years, but the theme has always been to remember or honor family members and friends during the holidays by making a donation to the WCIHF.

The campaign will have a “new look” this year. Foundation members, Debbie Ranniger and Donna Hacker worked with Puck Enterprises, Inc. and Plastico, T&C to create new trees and new ornaments for display on Main Street.  The trees have been custom designed out of sheet metal and will be strung with lights.  They will be decked with ornaments or stars created by Plastico.  The ornaments and stars are available for sponsorship.  The fresh look is especially fitting as the group celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dream Lights this year.

Donors will be able to sponsor a gold ornament for $75 and a red ornament for $125.  There will be 42 ornaments available.  There will be three stars available as well; sponsoring a star is $250.  This year all donors will be recognized in the newspaper.  The lighting of the trees will coincide with the Weihnachtsfest Festival held on November 25th and they will remain lit until shortly after the New Year.

Sponsorship forms may be picked up at First National Bank and State Farm Insurance, on Main Street. They are also available at the Admissions Desk at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, or by emailing  Completed forms can be dropped off or emailed to Amy Benton at MRHC.

The lighted trees have become a charming attraction on Main Street during the holidays.  Let’s “Deck the Trees” to support the West Central Iowa Healthcare Foundation in their mission to provide health and wellness opportunities for residents of Manning and members of the surrounding communities.

MRHC Encourages Participation in Community Blood Drive as Blood Supplies Reach Critical Lows

Blood drive

MRHC encourages locals to donate blood during the upcoming Community Blood Drive on Wednesday, November 23rd at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manning from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Blood supplies are at a critical low for all blood types and LifeServe, a local blood center, currently only has a one-day supply of O+. When a hospital patient needs a blood transfusion, they rely on blood donors to make sure that lifesaving blood is on the shelf. There is no substitute for human blood, and it can’t be created in a lab. This is why MRHC partners with LifeServe to regularly host blood drives.

“A donation could help save your neighbor, a friend, a family member or a stranger in your community,” shared MRHC Education Coordinator, Julie Hodne, RN.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit

MRHC Hosting Medicare Part D Enrollment Event November 11th


Manning Regional Healthcare Center will host a special Medicare Part D enrollment event on Friday, November 11th to help area residents compare and answer questions regarding Medicare Part D plans offered for 2023.

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans runs until December 7th, and MRHC staff want to make sure individuals are informed about the many choices available.

“The coverage and cost of Medicare plans tend to change each year,” said Amy McLaughlin, CPA, Chief Financial Officer at MRHC. “Meeting with MRHC staff and volunteers can help people understand the Medicare options better and potentially save them money as a result.”

MRHC staff will be available on the 11th to provide free, unbiased, and confidential assistance. Appointments are required and can be made by calling (712) 655-2072. Participants should plan for 45 minutes of time and bring a listing of all recent medications along with their current or old Medicare cards.

Changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can be made through December 7th. Those who miss the open enrollment deadline generally must wait a full year before making changes to their plan.

MRHC wants to remind residents to do three important things during the open enrollment period:

  • Review your plan notice. Read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year – especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.
  • Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?
  • Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year.

MRHC staff will review all plans offered and will not promote any particular plan or company.

Carroll Co. Growth Partnership Attends Annual Access Washington Trip

Linn and Dawn in DC
Block and Meyer Voice Area Concerns

By: Pam Kusel

It has been two years since Carroll County Growth Partnership has traveled on their annual Access Washington trip to visit with the Congressional delegation, federal agencies, and others to discuss important issues in Carroll County. COVID-19 and government shut downs kept the group from traveling to Washington DC the past two years. This year, the group brought a full slate of issues to discuss and new faces to experience our nation’s capital.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to go to Washington DC to advocate for rural healthcare,” said Manning Regional Healthcare Center CEO, Linn Block. “As Iowa saw its first hospital closure this year, the impact of many years of reimbursement pressures will continue to put the future of rural healthcare in jeopardy. MRHC has consistently been a leader in working alongside state and federal policy makers to ensure they understand our challenges as we continue to meet the needs of our community.” Linn and Dawn in DC

Dawn Meyer, Manning City Administrator, said, “We met with all four of the House representatives from Iowa and their staff. We also met with a representative of the Biden administration. We talked about a number of issues specific to Manning. We brought a proposed change for David-Bacon, which is a federal regulation relating to contracts that involve federal money. This is a long-term issue. In the past we have received quick turnarounds, such as the gas line. We also brought up several healthcare concerns; things that are important to MRHC. We felt it was important to support those issues, and Linn (Block) presented very well on that, and we got some good feedback from elected officials.”

Healthcare dominated the trip, being the leading issue brought by private industry. Linn Block, MRHC CEO, asked for continued support and funding of the 340B program, which has a large impact to their bottom line and helping provide healthcare in the Manning area. Both requests were given support from the entire Iowa delegation (four Congressional offices and two Senate offices). Allen Anderson, CEO of St. Anthony Regional Hospital, discussed the importance of the rural demonstration program and the funding support it gives to the Carroll hospital.

Kimberly Tiefenthaler, Executive Director of Carroll County Growth Partnership led the group to DC on her first Access Washington trip. “Access Washington is a phenomenal opportunity for our organization, area businesses, and constituency to bring issues to our nation’s leaders,” stated Tiefenthaler.

The City of Carroll discussed issues regarding the wastewater treatment plant and effluent limitations. This was discussed at all congressional meetings and of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking for guidance to solve the problem and help the taxpayers of the city of Carroll. Other issues consisted of volunteer EMS support, transportation infrastructure (four-lane Highway 30), Davis-Bacon, Economic Development Administration reauthorization, and housing rehab. All issues gained the support of the Iowa delegation who were willing to help find solutions.

A highlight of the trip was meeting with Will McIntee, Associate Director of Public Engagement with the Biden Administration. The group met with Will at the Eisenhower Executive Office on the White House Campus, just down the hall from the Vice President’s office.

“We attend this trip looking for help and guidance to solve problems that people and businesses are facing here in Carroll County. Some years, CCGP has accomplished those tasks and some years, we continue to build relationships with the leaders in Washington DC. Either way, this trip is a benefit for the people of Carroll County,” stated Tiefenthaler.

Carroll County Growth Partnership invests in this trip every year and is to be used as a resource and benefit to Carroll County. Any leader or business can bring their issue and attend the trip in the future.

Attendees of the trip were: Kimberly Tiefenthaler, Carroll County Growth Partnership; Rick Hunsaker, Region XII Council of Governments; Dawn Meyer, City of Manning; Gene Meiners, Carroll County Supervisor; LaVern Dirkx, Carroll City Councilman; Mike Pogge-Weaver, City of Carroll; Allen Anderson, St. Anthony Regional Hospital; Linn Block, Manning Regional Healthcare Center; and Matt Meiners, Carroll Co. Growth Partnership.

MRHC Financial Giving to Ensure Healthcare Remains Close to Home

Donor Wall

“We are grateful for the many financial contributions, large and small, that have made a significant impact on the services offered here at Manning Regional Healthcare Center,” shared MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “We are proud to be able to recognize those within the hospital with the Trees of Hope donor wall display.”

The recent installation of the donor wall, located near the MRHC surgery waiting room, represents the contributions made during the hospital’s recent capital campaign, Project Forward. In total there were 83 donors who contributed nearly $700,000. As donations continue to be made to the hospital, additional leaves will be added throughout the year.

“We recognize that it takes many different funding sources and committed citizens to ensure that we can provide the high-quality care and variety of health care services that we offer here at MRHC,” said Block. “One of the organizations that has made a significant impact over time has been the hospital Auxiliary, and they have lots to celebrate this year.”

Auxiliary Surpasses $300,000 in Contributions

While membership is only $10/person, the total contributions from the Auxiliary to Manning Regional Healthcare Center over the past 47 years has now surpassed $300,000. Since 1975, the Auxiliary, on average, has maintained an annual membership of 200 members.

“While some people can afford to make larger donations, others can only make smaller, incremental donations over time,” shared Janet Myer, hospital Auxiliary president. “It’s incredible how those smaller donations add up, though.”

Some of the more notable donations Myer recalls over the years were furnishing the birthing room at the old hospital, providing a van for the Plaza, creating a beauty shop at the Plaza, and getting furniture in the Recovery Center.

“Although some of these items are no longer in use, one thing that remains steady is our commitment to keeping quality healthcare available here in Manning,” said Myer.

As the needs of the community and the hospital evolve, so do the projects that the Auxiliary funds. “Each year we ask MRHC departments for a wish list and try to spread the support throughout the whole facility,” emphasized Myer.

The Auxiliary has had to adapt to new ways of funding over the years as well. For many years, the Auxiliary hosted a snack bar at the Plaza. The Auxiliary now hosts the snack bar at the Manning Public Library from 2-4pm every Monday through Friday.

“We invite the whole community to take advantage of the homemade snacks while visiting the beautiful new library,” encouraged Myer. “It’s an easy way to show your support and get a sweet treat as well!”

The Auxiliary also hosts multiple bake sales throughout the year. These have been held in conjunction with the Manning Farmer’s Market twice per summer since the pandemic. Annual bake sales are also held before Easter and Christmas.

The Auxiliary’s final bake sale of 2022 will feature Christmas goodies on Saturday December 3rd on Main Street in Manning.

Continued Financial Need

While Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements continue to be a challenge for rural hospitals, community members have shown increased financial support to ensure high-quality healthcare services are available close to home.

“We are grateful for the increased financial support to our hospital,” shared Block. “When people set foot in our hospital, they are surprised and impressed by the beautiful facility and quality of healthcare that is unexpected from a small-town hospital.”

There are many ways to give to support the hospital, both great and small. For long-term financial support of the hospital, please contact Linn Block at (712) 655-2072 or email