Manning Regional Healthcare Center
Influenza is on the Rise in Iowa
January 20, 2020
Just a reminder that influenza activity remains widespread in Iowa and in the U.S. CDC’s influenza forecasts suggest that national influenza activity will remain elevated for several more weeks. Influenza activity is elevated and both influenza A and B virus infections are circulating as well as many other viruses including RSV. Many schools across central Iowa and throughout the state are reporting greater than 10 absenteeism.
"During the 2018-19 school year, flu season actually spread into May, so it's not too late to get your influenza vaccine," said Jill Arp RN, BSN, Infection Prevention/Employee Health Nurse at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. " While getting a vaccine earlier in the season is better, there is still a lot of the season to go and a vaccination now could still provide benefit."
Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease that can be serious. Every year, millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu. The CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from the flu.
Get yourself and your family vaccinated!
A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone six months or older should get an annual flu vaccine. We do have flu vaccine on hand at MRHC so encourage people to come get it!
Stop the Spread
Take preventative actions to help stop the spread of flu viruses! Avoid close contact with sick people, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often (with soap and water).
"The flu vaccine remains the best form of defense against the flu," said Arp. "It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection."
Contact Manning Regional Healthcare Center at (712) 655-2072 to schedule flu shots to protect you, your family, and the community today.
MRHC Patient Portal Needs Updated Email Addresses
January 15, 2020
As of January 1, 2020, MMCTSU emails have been discontinued and therefore some Manning residents may be missing important notices sent from Manning Regional Healthcare Center regarding their upcoming medical appointments and reminders. It is important for patients to update their email addresses online or calling MRHC at (712) 655-2072.
“If you haven’t already logged in to your Patient Portal, we encourage you to do so,” said Joy Blom, RN, Nursing IT Coordinator. “This portal provides our patients with easy access their healthcare information.”
“Some of the primary features our patients use are the appointment reminders, laboratory results, summary of appointments and medication listings,” said Blom. “We will continue to expand the services we offer online in the coming months.”
To Log In to the MRHC Patient Portal, visit www.mrhcia.com and click on “Patient Portal” at the right. If you are a new patient, click “Let’s Get Started.” You will need to contact MRHC to receive your one-time-use PIN number. Please call (712) 655-2072 to access your pin. Each patient has a unique PIN.
If you already have a login, but need to update your email address, enter your Email Address and Password and press “Sign In.” You should be prompted to enter a new email address. Step-by-Step instructions listed on the website at www.mrhcia.com/news or on the MRHC Facebook page.
Open Letter: Holidays Can Be Especially Hard for Addicts
December 23, 2019
Written by Bradley Madsen, Recovery Center staff member at Manning Regional Healthcare Center
Ever since I can remember, Christmas Eve in my family meant traveling to my grandparent’s farm outside of Harlan. The cousins would spend the day outside sledding or building snow forts, the aunts and uncles inside playing games and visiting. The whole day was filled with fun, laughter, good food, love and family.
After an evening dinner, my grandfather would read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible as we all listened, and then (I’m not kidding) the entire family would sing some carols together before passing out gifts that night. It’s what I thought everyone did on Christmas Eve.
So when I grew up and started my career as a paramedic, my first Christmas Eve EMS shift in 1993 was also my first Christmas Eve away from my family. Assuming everyone grew up in similar circumstances, I naively predicted holiday public safety shifts would be boring and quiet. I was quickly introduced to reality, however.
It was dark and snowing steadily that night. Around 10:15 p.m. my partner and I were called out for a bar fight with injuries. I hadn’t even known bars were open on Christmas Eve. When we arrived we found a man who had been critically injured after being hit on the head with a pool cue...by his own brother. I remember thinking for a split-second, “I wonder why they aren’t at their grandparents house?” but then I dialed in and focused on treating the injured man.
Fast forward a few years (decades) and I now know that everyone’s circumstances are different. I know, too, that the holidays are a particularly stressful time for a lot of people. Transitioning into the addiction field with this experience, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that relapses happen more frequently around the holidays.
There are all sorts of reasons for this; financial stress, the stress of hosting the in-laws, the stress of getting lots of people together under one small roof, the stress of not feeling as if you measure up to your siblings or cousins, you know the sorts of stressors I’m talking about. The stresses induced or exacerbated by the holidays are myriad.
One of the hallmarks of active addiction is a diminished capacity to cope with discomfort (stress, for example). The substance use itself becomes a maladaptive coping mechanism - so the temptations to drink or use drugs are increased in stressful situations.
At first, most people use substances to “get high” and “feel good” but in an addict something switches. The addict no longer uses primarily because it “feels good” to use, the addict uses primarily to avoid discomfort (even when the using becomes the cause of that discomfort). There is something to the old saying: “addiction is a baffling and cunning disease.”
The discomfort an addict is trying to avoid can be as simple as the discomfort of physical withdrawal. Frequently, however, addicts use substances to avoid emotional discomfort as well. Discomforts such as: stress, anger, loneliness, sorrow, disappointment and shame can all be amplified over the holidays. And without adequate methods to cope with the discomfort, an addict can be very tempted to return to what has “worked” in the past.
As the holiday season nears, it seems important to understand the reason for an uptick in destructive behaviors we see in addicts. We need to understand that the behaviors that drive them are generally secondary to emotional discomfort and a lack of effective coping skills. It can be difficult to have compassion for a chronic addict whom is acting out, being violent or sobbing uncontrollably. However, the way we interact with these people can either add to their discomfort or help to ease it.
When we remember that addicts often simply don’t know better ways to cope with the stresses and disappointments of life, we are able to improve the situation. They are often ostracized or marginalized, especially over the holidays and it can be very difficult for them. Having an understanding of the roots of addictive behaviors will hopefully foster compassion and spur our desire to help.
Addiction isn’t something that just happens to people who have chosen a bad path. Chances are that you know someone who struggles with addiction in some way. Addicts are our neighbors, our relatives, our friends, and they are sometimes even you and me. There, but for the grace of God, go (us). When we as helpers understand better what we are up against, our job as helpers/healers gets a little easier when we too are missing our holiday on the farm with family.
Senior Life Solutions Program Receives National Recognition
December 13, 2019
Manning Regional Healthcare Center was recently notified that its Senior Life Solutions program was chosen as a STAR training site by Psychiatric Medicare Care (PMC), one of the largest mental health management companies within rural hospitals across the United States. Overall, PMC manages Senior Life Solutions programs at more than 85 locations nationwide.
MRHC now holds the distinction of being one of just 10 STAR training sites for Senior Life Solutions staff across the country selected by PMC.
“Being chosen as a training site is a result of the outstanding leadership, administration and compassionate care provided by our fantastic Senior Life Solutions staff at MRHC,” said Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA, Chief Executive Officer at MRHC. “They love their job and go out of their way to help support and genuinely care for their clients.”
MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group counseling program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults over the age of 65 who are struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging. Following an individual assessment, participants meet three times per week in a supportive, encouraging group setting.
Senior Life Solutions STAR training sites were chosen by PMC as a result of their time of service with the company, their ability to uphold PMC’s 3Cs of Care, Compliance, and Community, and their ability to remain accountable and kind not only in training new staff but in their daily work serving their communities. STAR training sites must have scored a 90% or higher on their last three corporate clinical audits and the last audit score must be 95% or higher.
Current STAR training sites for the Senior Life Solutions program now include: Coquille, OR; El Dorado Springs, MO; Holton, KS; Oneonta, AL; Philippi, WV; Cambridge, NE; Hawarden, IA; Manning, IA; Standish, MI and Trenton, MO.
To learn more about MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program, call 712-655-8262.
MRHC Grows From Within by Providing Tuition Assistance
December 7, 2019
“That was something that has always stuck with me,” said Vonnahme, when recalling those memories.
As a result, she knew she wanted to attend nursing school. Upon completing program requirements to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, Vonnahme worked fulltime as an LPN at the Manning Plaza before transitioning to MRHC’s discharge planner position in 2011.
Several years later, she decided to further her education and become a Registered Nurse. The decision to go back to school at that time was made easier thanks to the employee tuition assistance program offered at MRHC.
“I knew I was going to go back to school and having a financial option that is easy and hassle-free made the decision less stressful,” said Vonnahme.
With the support of flexible scheduling from her supervisors at MRHC, and encouragement from co-workers as she juggled school and work, Vonnahme not only became an RN, but continued to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Today, she works as an RN House Supervisor while at the same time pursuing her Master of Science in nursing degree to become a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner.
“Taya is dedicated to her patients, family and community,” said Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer at MRHC. “She is always seeking ways to advance her career so she can better serve those she provides care to. Taya is mentioned multiple times in patient surveys for her compassionate and competent care.”
Vonnahme is just one of many examples of employees who were encouraged to continue their education in order to fill high-need nursing positions thanks to the caring culture MRHC has created.
According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028 – much faster than the average for all occupations. Similarly, the need for licensed practical nurses is expected to grow at 11% and nursing assistants 9% during the same 10-year period.
The need for additional nurses across the country is due to a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions (such as diabetes and obesity) and aging baby-boomers who are living longer and more active lives and are in need of additional services.
“We have already seen this increased need for more nursing positions at MRHC,” said Andersen. “We’ve taken some proactive steps to fill those needs by encouraging staff who may not have otherwise considered a career in nursing to think about going back to school, and we provide tuition assistance to help them achieve their goals.”
One such “grow from within” example is current staff LPN Elaine Macumber. She did not have a nursing background and began working at MRHC in 2011 in Admissions and Health Information Management. Within a year, she moved to the Inventory Coordinator role, where she began working more closely with the nursing team.
That experience started a career trajectory she didn’t see coming.
“They (nursing staff) saw that I cared about patient outcomes, so they encouraged me to further my education and join the nursing team,” said Macumber.
Macumber did just that, completing her LPN requirements and joining the Med/Surg staff in April 2019. She’s now working toward becoming a registered nurse – again taking advantage of flexible work scheduling and the hospital’s tuition assistance program.
“The program made a big difference as the stress of a financial burden was lifted,” said Macumber. “It helps a lot so you can focus on your studies.”
Because MRHC has experienced growth in patient volumes during the last year, it has several nursing positions currently open. Available positions include all levels of nursing education – including CNA's, LPN’s or RN’s. MRHC is also recruiting nursing supervisory positions. To view a complete list, and apply for any nursing position, visit https://www.mrhcia.com/careers or call 712-655-2072.
MRHC understands the importance of education and wants to ensure that employees have every opportunity to obtain quality education. To be eligible for tuition assistance, an employee must meet the following criteria:
- Has been through the 90-day probationary period
- Works a minimum of 20 hours a week
- Is in an eligible employment status on the course start date
- Remains in an eligible employment status throughout the course
- Provides proof of successful completion of course work
- Is in good standing and not on the discipline track (Certain circumstances will be taken into consideration by the Tuition Assistance Committee.)
- Administration can waive eligibility requirements based on workforce need
Manning Man Finds Comfort from MRHC Wound Care Center
November 18, 2019
“I knew right away that I needed to get into the doctor and have it evaluated,” said Dobler, 74, of Manning.
Dobler, a diagnosed diabetic, had experienced the side effects of the disease for several years, but was following a proper diabetic diet, watching his health and staying active. Unfortunately, a few years earlier before his disease management knowledge grew, he learned the hard way that diabetic ulcers could lead to amputation if not treated immediately.
“I knew that if we could get on top of the new wounds right away that we would have the potential to save my foot,” said Dobler.
Dobler is not alone in his chronic disease management. More than 29.1 million Americans have diabetes and 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have limited or no feeling in their feet. Furthermore, approximately 25 to 30% of patients with diabetes develop a foot sore or ulcer. While ulcers can be anywhere on the foot, most occur on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe.
The wound care team at MRHC believes Dobler’s immediate attention to his diabetic ulcer and willingness to commit to weekly treatments until the wound was healed is what ultimately prevented him from having an amputation.
“It’s much easier to treat a minor foot problem before it becomes serious,” said Kendra Tiefenthaler, RN, Clinical Coordinator for the MRHC Wound Care Center.
According to Tiefenthaler, there are several reasons why diabetic patients have foot problems; but the most common reason is that they suffer from nerve damage called neuropathy, which causes loss of sensation in the feet. These patients also suffer from poor circulation, which can make their foot less able to fight infection and heal.
Individuals suffering from diabetes may be at risk for a foot ulcer if they have one or more of the following signs:
Lack of sensation (feeling) in feet
Feeling of “pins and needles” in feet
Feet hurt while walking or resting
Sores don’t heal
Skin on feet becomes thick, dry or scaly,
Calluses develop easily on the soles of feet
“At MRHC, we have the ability to treat any open wounds caused from vascular complications, post-surgical procedures, diabetes and more,” said Tiefenthaler. “Oftentimes patients will see the most benefit from weekly treatments where the provider addresses any concerns, evaluates wound progress, and cleans or redresses the wound to ensure timely healing.”
Because 1 in 4 patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime, MRHC staff have provided the following tips to help individuals suffering from diabetes care for their feet and prevent diabetic ulcers:
Check your feet daily. Look for blisters, cuts and scratches. Use a long-handled mirror or place a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of your feet. Always check between your toes.
Keep your feet clean. Wash daily, dry carefully – especially between the toes.
Moisturize your feet. Apply a moisturizer as recommended by your physician, but never apply between toes as that can lead to a fungal infection.
Do not walk barefoot. That includes on sandy beaches and pool/patio areas.
Wear properly fitted shoes. Shoes should be comfortable when purchased. Do not wear narrow, pointed toe or high-heeled shoes.
Inspect the inside of your shoes daily. Check for foreign objects, tears or rough areas on the inside of the shoe.
Do not wear shoes without socks or stockings. Wear clean, properly fitted socks. Cotton or cotton-blend socks are recommended.
Avoid temperature extremes. Test water temperature with your hand or elbow prior to bathing. Do not soak your feet in hot water or apply a hot water bottle. If your feet feel cold at night; wear socks.
Trim your toenails regularly. Always cut your nails straight across.
Do not use over-the-counter remedies for corns. See a podiatrist to have these evaluated.
Avoid crossing your legs. This causes pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, resulting in less blood flow to your feet.
MRHC Installs State-of-the-Art Surgery Technology
November 18, 2019
Manning Regional Healthcare Center recently became one of the first hospitals in the state of Iowa to install an Advanced Imaging Modalities 4K Platform in its operating room. The new platform is a minimally invasive surgical tower that will provide MRHC’s surgeons with superior visualization and advanced imagining modalities across an array of specialties.
“This new system represents some of the most innovative surgical technology on the market,” said Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA, Chief Executive Officer at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “Our surgeons and surgical support team is thrilled to have this tool to provide our patients with outstanding care in our surgical suite.”
Because MRHC provides both general and specialty surgeries, the new 4K platform will deliver standardization and ease of use across multiple specialties. It features a large 4K screen display with crystal-clear images, enhanced camera resolution on scopes and real-time imaging of blood flow, among other technological upgrades.
“This new system provides our team of surgeons and staff with so many great features to enhance patient outcomes,” said Melissa Maas, RN, BSN, Surgery Manager at MRHC. “But one of the things we are most excited about is the advanced imaging modalities available.”
According to Maas, the new system will provide three distinct fluorescence imaging modalities (Contrast, Overlay and ENV) to enable real-time 4K fluorescence images of perfusion (the passage of blood or other fluid through the blood vessels) and critical anatomy. Studies have shown that the use of fluorescence imaging may assist surgeons in making better clinical decisions during colorectal, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and other minimally invasive procedures.
“In addition, this new connected hub will allow our staff to easily stream, capture, record and print surgical images and videos directly from the platform for later review,” said Maas. “And, we can provide text message updates to our patient’s families during the procedure without ever leaving the OR.”
The new 4K system adds to MRHC’s already impressive surgical suite. MRHC’s operating room and recovery area was built in 2014 based on best practices to reduce risk of infection and provide the greatest patient care efficiencies possible.
The most common surgical procedures offered at MRHC fall under the category of General Surgery. Examples of general surgery procedures offered every Monday in Manning include laparoscopic cholecystectomy, breast biopsy, hernia repair, vasectomy, appendectomy, colonoscopies, lipoma/cyst removals, abdominal surgeries and much more. MRHC also has several specialty surgeons who provide surgical procedures for podiatry, pain clinic, urology, gynecology and hand surgery at the hospital.
To learn more about surgery options at MRHC, call 712-655-2072.