Manning Regional Healthcare Center



Manning Man Finds Comfort from MRHC Wound Care Center

November 18, 2019 

Ralph Dobler woke up one morning and knew something was wrong. The bottom of his foot was tender to the touch and the pain turned excruciating when he walked.

“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.
If you are experiencing pain or complications from an open wound, contact the MRHC Specialty Clinic at (712) 655-8112 to request a wound care consultation or treatment. Physician referrals are not required.


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.



MRHC Hosting Special Medicare Enrollment Information Event

October 7, 2019

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans begins October 15, and Manning Regional Healthcare Center staff and Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors want to make sure area residents are informed about the many choices available.

To help individuals compare plans offered for 2020, MRHC will host a special Medicare Part D Enrollment Event on Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 24. The hospital’s SHIIP counselor, Dee Schmitz, will be available along with SHIIP Program Development Coordinator, Becky Groff, to provide free, unbiased and confidential assistance to area residents.

“The coverage and cost of Medicare plans tend to change each year,” said Amy McLaughlin, CPA, Chief Financial Officer at MRHC. “Meeting with SHIIP representatives can help people understand the Medicare options better and potentially save them money as a result.”
Appointments are required to review plans on either date at MRHC 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. 

According to Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen, Iowans will have four new Part D drug plans available to them in 2020 and many new Medicare Advantage options. Changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can be made beginning October 15 through December 7, 2019. Iowans that miss the open enrollment deadline generally must wait a full year before making changes to their plan.

SHIIP is reminding residents to do three important things during Medicare open enrollment:

  • 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.

 SHIIP counselors at MRHC will review all plans offered and will not promote any particular plan or company.

MRHC Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Special Events

September 19, 2019

                With fall officially here, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – held annually in October – is just around the corner.

                This year, Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) will host several new events aimed at increasing awareness and spreading the message that early detection is the best protection.

                “We wanted to take a more community-wide approach this year with our education and focus on the full spectrum of prevention that impacts a woman’s mind, body and soul,” said Jackie Blackwell, RN, Director of Quality and Patient Advocacy at MRHC.

                Area businesses will help spread the breast cancer awareness message with “Pink Out” promotions and window displays September 30-October 5. There will also be a “Pink Out” themed walk, in connection with Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative, beginning at the front doors of MRHC at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, October 2.

                However, the highlight will be a special “Women Supporting Women” new event on Saturday, October 5, at MRHC. The fun affair, geared toward women of all ages, will feature a community-wide fitness class, large vendor fair, workshops, and hospital department tours.

                “Statistics still show that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime,” said Blackwell. “So it’s important for us at MRHC to continually work at increasing awareness of what symptoms to look for, and what risk factors contribute to breast cancer. By providing fun activities, and a unique shopping experience, we’re also using this event to mix in that message of the importance of regular mammograms and healthy lifestyle choices.”

                “Women Supporting Women” will kick off with a special workout, led by Jenny Wiebers, from 7-8 a.m. on the MRHC lawn. All fitness levels are welcome.

                Shortly after the workout ends, department tours and the vendor fair will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 Noon inside the hospital. Tours will include Senior Life Solutions, Physical Therapy, Radiology & Mammography, Surgery Services, Recovery Center, Restorix Wound Care and Infusion Bays.

                Workshops for women, provided by women, will be held between 9 a.m. and Noon in the hospital conference rooms. Topics and speakers include, “Women’s Health – What to Expect,” by Hope Jensen, ARNP, CDE; “Designing the Perfect Arrangement,” by Kristina Lupardus; “Curling Class,” by Angel Mundt; and “Balancing Life & Healthy Eating,” by Jenny Wiebers.

                National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established in October 1985 to raise awareness and gain funding for research for a cure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is the second most common cancer among women in the United States.

                Unfortunately, in Iowa in 2016, there were 2,496 new cases of breast cancer in women. For every 100,000 women, 129 breast cancer cases were reported. The same year, there were 414 women who died of breast cancer.

                Mammograms can detect cancer early – when it is most treatable – before a lump can be felt or symptoms experienced. Most insurance companies cover mammograms for women aged 40 and older. Appointments can be made without a physician referral. To schedule your mammogram at MRHC, call 655-2072.

                For more information about MRHC’s special breast cancer awareness events, contact Blackwell at 655-2072, or email


MRHC Encourages You to Nominate a Breast Cancer Survivor to be Surprised with Flowers

                As part of early celebrations for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Manning Regional Healthcare Center is working with Kristina’s Flowers to surprise breast cancer survivors with a floral arrangement each day of the week from September 30-October 4. All bouquets are being sponsored by area businesses and community members.

                To nominate a breast cancer survivor to receive an arrangement, contact Jackie Blackwell at MRHC by calling 655-2072, or email You can also comment on MRHC’s Facebook page.

Andersen Promoted to CNO at MRHC

September 12, 2019

Manning Regional Healthcare Center has announced the promotion of its longtime Director of Nursing, Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN, to the role of Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). Andersen, who has worked as the director for 12 of her 23 years employed as a nurse at MRHC, will spend the next month transitioning to her new position.

“Michelle is well suited for the CNO role,” said Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA, Chief Executive Officer at MRHC. “She is extremely passionate about providing quality patient care and is focused on seeing results. Ensuring every patient has a great experience with every visit is a priority for Michelle, and I have no doubts she will continue to lead with compassion and empathy.”

Andersen has a diverse nursing background that not only includes experience working in various departments at the hospital, but also long-term care, as a traveling nurse, and even serving as a nursing instructor for clinical students.
“With this new position, I’m looking forward to making a difference in rural healthcare at a different level of nursing,” said Andersen.

Andersen studied at Iowa Western Community College to become a Registered Nurse, then continued at Regis University to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She says after working at MRHC for more than two decades, she not only still enjoys making a difference in patient’s lives, but also working side-by-side with co-workers she considers family.

“I not only work here, but I, along with my family, doctor here,” said Andersen. “It was reassuring to know that when my Mom had a heart attack, the people working here really cared about her well-being, not only as a patient but personally. I trusted the staff would do all in their power to ensure she was taken care of quickly, efficiently, and with empathy to not only her but my family.”

Andersen, and her husband, Mark, live in Kirkman. They have three children, Megan and Tyler (both in college), and Lindsey, a senior in high school.

Teen E-Cigarette Use on the Rise

August 30, 2019

With kids back in school throughout the area, Manning Regional Healthcare Center wants to educate parents regarding the health risks of E-cigarette use among kids and teens, and how to spot popular E-cigarette devices.

E-cigarette use, which is sometimes referred to as JUULing or vaping, increased 78% from 2017 to 2018 among American youth. In fact, according to the 2018 Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Iowa Youth Survey, almost one out of every four 11th grade students in Iowa reported e-cigarette use in the past month, along with 8 percent of eighth graders and 2 percent of sixth graders.

"E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes," said Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA, Chief Executive Officer at MRHC. "The common components are that most have a battery or heating element and a place to hold liquid."

"Unfortunately, the liquid not only often contains nicotine, but there are hundreds of different flavorings that can be combined as well," added Block. "This is what makes it so attractive to younger kids and adults. They think it tastes good, so they don't understand the dangers of what they are inhaling."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. However, others look like USB flash drives, pens and other everyday items.

When they were first manufactured, e-cigarettes were touted as a safer option that reduced second-hand smoking risks. However, JUUL, the brand of e-cigarettes shaped like a USB flash drive, and popular among youth, have dangerously high levels of nicotine. In fact, research has shown that one JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes. 

“The only thing safer than smoking is not smoking,” said Eric Weinkoetz, Director of the Recovery Center at MRHC. 

The CDC recently confirmed the first vaping-related death in America as a result of severe injuries to the lung. In a statement released to the media after that tragic confirmation, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the CDC, noted, "Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms – including flavorings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents. CDC has been warning about the identified and potential dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping since these devices first appeared. E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products."

Overall, more than 200 potential vaping-related illnesses in teenagers and young adults across 25 states are currently being investigated by the CDC – some of which have been found in Iowa. In fact, on August 30, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported an updated total of 7 cases of respiratory illness associated with vaping within the state.    

IDPH reports symptoms of the suspected respiratory illness include cough, fatigue, dizziness, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, chest pain, and worsening difficulty breathing – sometimes requiring intensive care.

If you have concerns you or your child may have respiratory illness symptoms related to vaping, you are encouraged to contact your primary care provider for an evaluation. Appointments at MRHC's Family Practice Clinic can be made by calling 712-655-2072.
More detailed information regarding e-cigarettes and health risks from using them can be located at

MRHC Announces CEO Retirement and Replacement

August 9, 2019
The Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) Board of Directors has announced the upcoming retirement of the facility’s Chief Executive Officer, John O’Brien, and the appointment of his successor, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. The CEO transition at MRHC will be effective September 1, 2019.

“Our hospital benefited tremendously from the experience and leadership of John O’Brien for the last seven years,” said Bret Richards, PhD, President of the MRHC Board of Directors. “We not only thank him for his valued service, but also for providing our board with many months of working with and preparing Linn Block to ensure a smooth transition for this CEO change.” 

When O’Brien began duties at MRHC in 2012, the facility was undergoing planning for a new 62,000 square foot replacement hospital. Under O’Brien’s guidance, that landmark vision became a reality as the “new” MRHC opened in May 2014, ensuring a strong foundation for quality healthcare services for years to come.

“I am proud of all that our team has accomplished in the past seven years I've been CEO,” said O’Brien. “We have a brand new, state-of-the-art hospital; we have recruited excellent providers; and we have increased the visibility of many of our services and programs including Senior Life Solutions, the Recovery Center, our Family Practice Clinic, the Specialty Clinic, and more." 

MRHC is a 17- bed critical access hospital that contracts with Mercy One for management support and is part of an extensive network offering a wide range of health services for the benefit of its patients. Mike Trachta, Senior Vice President of Network Affiliates for Mercy One, commended O’Brien for his many years of service within the Mercy System.

“His dedication to Manning – both the hospital and the community – is outstanding,” said Trachta. “We wish him and his wife Chris a wonderful and healthy retirement.”

O’Brien’s retirement will cap an impressive 44-year-career in healthcare, the majority of which was served in administrative capacities. While he contemplated retirement for more than a year, he felt the timing was right to move closer to his family back in Michigan. He notes that he and his wife have grown fond of the Manning community and appreciate the many friendships made – but are looking forward to erasing the 750-mile drive to see their family.

“Our whole family lives within 10 miles of one another and it will be great to be able to see them on an ongoing basis,” said O’Brien. “And, I am truly blessed that my parents are still around. They're 87 and 89, so we look forward to spending time with them upon moving back."

According to Trachta, Block is also a seasoned healthcare veteran and well positioned to transition into her new role as CEO. With more than 28 years of experience in healthcare, the past 12 of which have been at the director level, she has served as MRHC’s Chief Nursing Officer since 2015.

"I am excited to welcome Linn to the CEO role,” said Trachta. “She brings a wealth of previous experience, outstanding leadership skills and a deep understanding of the organization.”

Block became a Registered Nurse in 1992 and began her career at Mercy Medical Center. She continued her education, earning her Bachelor’s in Nursing degree in 1999 and her Master’s in Healthcare Administration in 2010. After leaving Mercy Medical Center, she worked as the Director of Med/Surg/Peds at St. Anthony Regional Hospital for just under a decade prior to joining the MRHC team.

"I look forward to continue developing the relationships I've made in the past four years and get to know even more people in Manning and the surrounding communities,” said Block. “We will continue to meet the needs of the community and strive to provide the quality care that our patients deserve and expect."

Block and husband, Nick, a full-time farmer, live on a farm in Calhoun County. They have three children, Joey, 20, currently serving in the United States Marine Corps, Jacob, 19, starting college at Grandview University, and daughter Brinkley, who will begin 2nd grade.

New Counselor Offering Medicare Information and Assistance at MRHC

July 25, 2019
Where can I go to find answers about Medicare prescription drug plans?  What is a Medicare Advantage plan? My medications have gotten so expensive I just can’t afford to take them all, is there any help?  I was contacted about providing my Medicare number for a free service, is this on the up and up?

 Answers to these and other Medicare questions can be found by meeting with Dee Schmitz, a new Senior Health Insurance Information (SHIIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) volunteer counselor at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. Schmitz will be at MRHC to meet with individuals every Wednesday afternoon, from 1-5 p.m., beginning July 31.

 “We’re so excited to welcome Dee in her new role as a SHIIP volunteer,” said Amy McLaughlin, CPA, Chief Financial Officer at MRHC. “She will be a great resource for individuals turning 65, those who are considering changing Medicare benefits, or for anyone simply wanting to learn more about their current benefits.”

 SHIIP—SMP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa.  Schmitz underwent considerable training to become a certified SHIIP—SMP volunteer counselor. In her role at MRHC, she will provide informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with questions and problems related to Medicare benefits, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare and insurance claims, and education on how to guard against becoming a victim of Medicare fraud.
 The volunteer position is a great fit for Schmitz due to her experience, and something she considered for more than two years. She recently retired as the Business Office Manager at Regency Park Nursing & Rehab Center in Carroll after 24 years.
 “I thought it would be a fulfilling volunteer service in helping to inform, educate and assist consumers on Medicare and related health insurance issues,” said Schmitz. “I’m looking forward to helping people with some of the confusion they experience when first approaching Medicare.”
 Schmitz will not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents.  She will answer questions and provide impartial information to assist residents on Medicare to make informed decisions and to learn how to detect and report Medicare scams.
 “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and working together to find solutions to their questions,” said Schmitz.
 Schmitz, and her husband, Tom, are residents of Templeton. They have three children and six grandchildren. 

 Anyone interested in making an appointment with Schmitz should call MRHC at 712-655-2072.

MRHC Recognized for Successful Fall Prevention Program

July 15, 2019
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people annually in the United States fall in a hospital setting – nearly one-third of which could be prevented. These falls result in bone fractures or other significant problems that negatively impact patient’s health and increase health care utilization costs.

As a quality improvement initiative in 2017, Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) staff began an extensive research project analyzing previous falls in Manning and other facilities and researching ways they could have been prevented. Based upon these findings, the hospital developed, approved and executed new procedures, expanded standardized fall risk assessments, provided thorough staff education and increased awareness of fall risk factors throughout the facility.

As a result, MRHC will soon receive “best practice” recognition for celebrating an impressive milestone – 934 patient days without a fall (as of July 12, 2019).

“We really feel the biggest factor that has helped us reach this milestone is the implementation of our No-Pass Zone policy,” said Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN, Director of Nursing at MRHC. “This means none of our staff, regardless of their position, pass a patient room with a call light or fall alarm going off. Our entire staff has been educated on this process and understands the need to enter the room and stay with patients until a clinical staff member can assist.” 

Andersen adds that many people have misconceptions about what patients are at risk for falling, what scenarios pose the most threats and how those risks can be mitigated.

“In the hospital setting, any of our post-surgical patients, individuals with confusion or someone who’s recently added or changed medicine is at a higher risk of falling,” said Andersen. “And, a lot of times people just get in a hurry, and that creates a higher risk as well. We assess each patient on admission and every shift using the Morse fall scale.”

Andersen notes that MRHC’s Care Coordinator Kathy Freese and Nursing house supervisor Robin Heaton have both championed MRHC’s fall prevention message both internally and outside of the hospital. Freese also spends considerable time educating patients and their families on ways to reduce their fall risk at home upon discharge from the hospital – especially elderly individuals who pose the highest risk of falls. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Unfortunately, 1 out of every 10 falls causes an injury that requires hospitalization. And many of these older adults need significant time to recover and are never able to live independently again.

“Our fall prevention program is about impacting the public, not just people that walk through our hospital door,” said Andersen. “We want to encourage people to ask their doctor about a fall risk assessment, or to contact Kathy about tips to reduce falls. For example, she can meet with individuals who have not been hospitalized but want to learn more about better techniques to utilize grip bars, positioning when getting out of bed, or ways to help a family member walk more safely.”

“Everyone at MRHC wants to help increase awareness and reduce the risk of falls throughout our communities,” Andersen added.

Report Finds MRHC Provides Substantial Benefit to Local Economy

June 17, 2019

In the last year, Manning Regional Healthcare Center generated 182 jobs with a payroll of $8,556,327 to create a $12,648,361 overall impact to the Manning area’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. In addition, the study found that MRHC employees by themselves spend an estimated $3,881,834 on retail sales annually and contribute $232,910 in state sales tax revenue.
“Every year this report provided by the Iowa Hospital Association serves as a great reminder for how our hospital not only provides great care for our patients, but also positively impacts the health of our area’s economy,” said John O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “We take great pride in helping ensure our local communities are vibrant and prosperous.”
The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.
The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 76,203 people and create another 64,453 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.7 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.
In all, the health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $18 billion to Iowa’s economy while directly and indirectly providing 342,914 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.
“Hospitals positively influence their local economies not only with how many people they employ and the salaries of those employees, but also through hospital purchases from local businesses as well as the impact of employee spending and tax support,” said Kirk Norris, IHA president/CEO. “Whether at the local level or statewide, there are few Iowa employers that generate economic activity comparable to hospitals.”
The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.

MRHC Provides Reminders About Advance Directives

June 14, 2019

Advance directives help you protect your right to make medical choices that can affect your life. They are valuable tools that Julie Hodne, RN, Education Coordinator at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, feels everyone could benefit learning more about.

“These legal documents help your family avoid the responsibility and stress of making difficult decisions on your behalf,” said Hodne. “They also help your physician by providing guidelines for your care.”

Hodne notes that all patients have rights regarding privacy, informed consent, information about your condition and information about advance directives. 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. 

By working on these plans, individuals can specify what actions they want taken for their health when they are not able to make decisions for themselves.

“These documents can protect your rights if you ever become mentally or physically unable to choose or communicate your wishes due to an injury or illness,” said Hodne. “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, ventilators or dialysis. They can also address your feelings about pain control and comfort care.” 

Hodne recommends that individuals utilize their personal values as their guide when creating advance directives.
“Consider what is important to you,” said Hodne. “That may be passing without pain and suffering, being able to make your own decisions, leaving your family with good memories or not burdening your family 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.” 
Forms for a durable power of attorney for healthcare or a living will are available from the Iowa State Bar Association. To receive the form in the mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Iowa State Bar Association, P.O. Box 4906, 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 forms from the Iowa State Bar Association website ( under Public Resources.
Hodne recommends that once you have the forms, put your wishes in writing and be as specific as possible. Other tips include:
  •  Review your advance directives with your family, friends, physician and Power of Attorney (POA).
  •  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 health care will also need a copy.
  •  Give copies to a relative or friend who may be 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.  
“If you need help preparing your advance directives, or if you would like more information, you can contact your legal counsel, healthcare provider, or any hospital, hospice, home health agency or long-term care facility,” said Hodne.
“Remember, planning is the key to protecting your rights.”
Resources: Channing Bete Co./Iowa Hospital Association/Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa State Bar Association 

MRHC Offers New Procedure Aimed at Reducing Chronic Pain

Pain is a normal part of everyday life. It’s how our body alerts us to injury or illness. When the injury heals, the pain typically stops.

But chronic pain is different. And it’s far more common than you may think.

“Chronic pain is often defined as pain that persists for several weeks and sometimes even months and years,” said Linn Block, Chief Nursing Officer at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “While the pain can be triggered by an initial injury or illness, sometimes just the process of aging alone can cause long term pain.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 5 adults in the United States are currently experiencing chronic pain. In fact, researchers estimate chronic pain is the reason for 20-to-50 percent of all primary care visits, 20 percent of all outpatient visits, 12 percent of all prescriptions and over $100 billion in direct and indirect expenses.

To help meet identified local community needs related to pain management, Manning Regional Healthcare Center provides a Pain Clinic to offer many traditional, surgical and non-traditional solutions to ease discomfort and irritation for patients suffering from pain and illness.

“After seeing many patients who were searching for solutions for chronic pain, we held a special pain management seminar in April,” said Block. “We had more than 100 people attend this – so we know this is a huge issue that is affecting many people in our area. Unfortunately, many of these folks are suffering in silence because they have given up hope of relief from their pain.”

In May, MRHC added an experienced Pain Clinic Specialist with the ability to offer a new surgical procedure specifically to combat chronic pain. Robert Rossi, MD, is now providing the Spectra WaveWriter Spinal Cord Stimulator System at MRHC to patients who qualify. The system is an FDA-approved, drug-free pain management therapy that is clinically proven to help reduce chronic pain.

“When you feel pain, it’s because nerves are sending a pain signal to your brain,” said Block. “The spinal cord stimulator system sends electrical impulses that trigger nerve fibers along the spinal cord, masking the pain message traveling to the brain.”

Dr. Rossi, a physician with experience in anesthesiology and pain management, is seeing patients and providing the spinal cord stimulator implantable device procedure once a month at MRHC. Patients do not need a referral to set up an appointment for an initial evaluation. Only those that meet specific criteria will be deemed candidates for the spinal cord stimulators.

MRHC also offers weekly Pain Clinic services from CRNAs – certified registered nurse anesthetists. Brian Jacobs, CRNA, is at MRHC the first three Tuesdays of every month and Christopher Hansen, CRNA, NSPM-C, sees patients on the fourth Wednesday. Both provide treatments for arthritis, knee pain, shingles, lower back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, work-related injuries, and much more.

“We know that treatments that work for some people, may not work for others,” said Block. “But people need to understand there are many options available locally that don’t include opioid prescriptions to treat pain.”

Patient experiencing chronic pain are encouraged to make an appointment with their medical provider to discuss their symptoms. Primary care appointments, or Pain Clinic appointments, can be made at MRHC by calling 712-655-2072.   

Mental Health Awareness Month Aims to Increase Education and Reduce Stigma

More than 46.6 million adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in a given year. That means in 2019 alone, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness.

To help reach those in need, Manning Regional Healthcare Center is joining with providers across the country in recognizing May as Mental Health Month. The goal of this month is to build better understanding of mental illness, increase access to treatment and help ensure those who are struggling know they are not alone.

“Unfortunately, statistics have shown that individuals with mental health conditions face an average 11-year delay between first experiencing symptoms and starting treatment,” said Dr. Douglas McLaws, family practice physician at MRHC. “We need to work together to reduce barriers for these individuals and encourage them to seek medical care.”

While MRHC’s family practice providers can offer support and treatment options for individuals of any age suffering from suspected mental illness, the hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program targets adults age 65 and older. It’s an intensive outpatient group counseling program that is designed to meet the unique needs of older adults 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.

“Even though most people can experience relief from symptoms of mental illness and get support for their recovery in treatment, the sad reality is that less than half of the adults in the United States get the help they need,” said Janet Schroeder-Brus, RN, Program Director of the Senior Life Solutions program at MRHC.

MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed social workers, a registered nurse, and other professionals dedicated to the emotional well-being of the seniors in our community. Family members, physicians, or other health professionals can refer individuals to the program.
“It’s up to all of us to reach out, show we care, and let people know that not only is help available for mental health conditions, but it’s OK to seek that help,” said Schroeder-Brus.
To talk with a medical provider at MRHC about your symptoms, please call 712-655-2072 to set up an appointment. For more information about the Senior Life Solutions program, call 712-655-8262.

MRHC Promotes Women's Health Week

In a special effort to remind women to carve out “me time” for their health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicked off the 20th annual National Women’s Health Week on Mother’s Day, May 12. Locally, Manning Regional Healthcare Center is designating this week to encourage women to practice self-care, and most importantly, make their yearly appointments.

“Getting yearly exams and regular check-ups for women is really important,” said MRHC’s newest medical provider, Hope Jensen, ARNP, CDE. “Preventive care such as this can detect problems early, when treatment is more effective.”

According to Jensen, women’s yearly appointments are typically associated with Pap tests – an exam that looks for precancers or cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if not treated appropriately. The exam has proven so effective that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all women begin getting Pap tests at age 21.

“While we understand some young women may feel uncomfortable with the idea of making this appointment for their first pap test, we want to assure everyone that these confidential yearly exams are great opportunities to ask questions about your body while in a safe, comfortable environment without judgment,” said Jensen. “Additionally, we can provide women with information about prevention and prescribe treatment for any potential problems that are detected.”

Regular Pap tests are recommended for women until they reach age 65. Women who have normal results and no family history of ovarian cancer may be able to wait up to three years between Pap Tests. However, Jensen recommends these women should still make yearly appointments for basic checks and breast exams.

“Women’s bodies undergo so many changes depending on what stage in life you are, so these yearly appointments are great opportunities to track those and discuss any questions or concerns you have with your medical provider,” said Jensen.

Once women reach age 65, they are encouraged to begin regular bone density screenings – which are offered at MRHC by utilizing its state-of-the-art DXA machine. The exam requires little to no special preparation and can be conducted in about 15 minutes. It’s the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs.

“Osteoporosis usually progresses slowly and most times without symptoms until a broken bone occurs,” said Jensen, “When low bone density is identified early through this screening, we can discuss lifestyle changes and other therapies with women to help protect their bone health and reduce the risk of fractures.”

Most insurance plans cover women’s yearly appointments. However, patients are encouraged to check with their insurance provider in advance to understand what is already covered under their wellness and prevention benefits.

To make your yearly women’s exam appointment, call MRHC’s Family Practice Clinic at 712-655-2072.

Hope Jensen to Join MRHC staff as Nurse Practitioner

Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) has announced the addition of an experienced primary care Nurse Practitioner to its medical staff. Hope Jensen, ARNP, CDE, will begin seeing patients at MRHC’s Family Practice Clinic on May 13.

“We are excited to have Hope join our team of trusted experts,” said Linn Block, Chief Nursing Officer at MRHC. “Not only is she highly skilled and experienced, but she is also from this area and understands the needs of our patients.”

Jensen, an Audubon native, has 19 years of nursing experience – 12 of which have been as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).  She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Creighton University in 2000 and worked as a staff nurse in acute and intensive care units before returning to school for her Master’s degree. After earning her MSN from Creighton in 2007, she treated patients near the Manning area for several years, before taking a year off to expand her knowledge on diabetic education.

“I’m so excited to be back into medical practice and working alongside this great staff,” said Jensen. “I really felt MRHC’s mission of providing quality primary care fit exactly with what I wanted to do.”

While her focus will be on families, seeing patients of all ages, Jensen boasts unique specialization as a Certified Menopause Practitioner and a Certified Diabetes Educator. These certifications mean Jensen can provide specific treatment, extra support or answer additional questions to help patients suffering from either condition.

Overall, Jensen noted that when she first interviewed in Manning, she was immediately impressed with MRHC’s facility and the state-of-the-art technology provided within the hospital.

“This beautiful building, and the amount of services offered inside, are excellent for a rural hospital,” said Jensen.

Community members are invited to meet Jensen and welcome her to MRHC at an Open House event to be held in the MRHC Conference Rooms on Wednesday, May 22, from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Jensen and her husband, Jerome, have been married 19 years and have two daughters, Gwen (17) and Audrey (13). Jerome works for his family-owned welding business in Audubon.

To make an appointment with Hope Jensen, call MRHC’s Family Practice Clinic at 712-655-2072.

MRHC Announces New Program Director for Senior Life Solutions program

Manning Regional Healthcare Center has announced a Manning native and long-time area resident has accepted the position of Program Director of the Senior Life Solutions program.  Janet Schroeder-Brus, RN, will assume leadership of the program beginning April 30.

“We are thrilled to welcome Janet to the MRHC team,” said Linn Block, Chief Nursing Officer at MRHC. “Janet’s substantial experience and compassion when working with seniors makes her an excellent choice to guide this exceptional and much-needed program locally.”

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.

Schroeder-Brus, who has more than 30 years of nursing experience mostly in the home health and hospice field, says she was drawn to the position because of her passion for working with senior citizens.

“They have so much to say and such an incredible history,” said Schroeder-Brus. “It’s nice to just sit back, talk to them and really listen.”

After graduating from Manning High School in 1985, Schroeder-Brus attended the Iowa Methodist School of Nursing and became a registered nurse. She spent the first three years of her nursing career at Iowa Lutheran Hospital before returning to work for organizations in the Manning area in 1991. Prior to accepting the position at MRHC, she worked at Crawford County Home Health, Hospice and Public Health.

As the Senior Life Solutions Program Director, some of Schroeder-Brus’ duties will be ensuring the intensive outpatient psychiatric program meets Psychiatric Medical Care’s standards, evaluating staff performance to ensure quality patient care, recruiting new staff and providing community education to create awareness of the program.

“I think we are blessed to have this program available in such a small community,” said Schroeder-Brus. “The staff are really able to provide individualized attention and reach people from across this area. It’s not just a Manning program, it’s an area program that we can tap into for folks who need these services.”

Schroeder-Brus and her husband, Kevin, have two grown children, Colin and Emily, who graduated from the IKM-Manning school district in 2013 and 2014 respectively. 

For more information about the Senior Life Solutions program at MRHC, call (712) 655-8262.


Pictured:  Janet Schroeder-Brus, RN, MRHC Senior Life Solutions Director

Don’t be the Dealer: Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27th

Not utilizing prescribed antibiotic medications in the right doses or saving leftover pain pills after recovering from a procedure has evolved from a public health issue, to a vital public safety concern.

Research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

“For years our biggest concern with patients not finishing medications as prescribed was a fear of developing antibiotic resistance,” said Jen Morris, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “But now, on top of that, with the rise of prescription drug abuse and painkiller addiction, we know that ridding your house of unused or unwanted prescriptions can not only prevent pill abuse, but also deter theft.”

In addition, Morris notes that Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. 

That’s why the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated April 27 as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The purpose of this special day is to encourage public safety partners across the country to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs.

While MRHC is joining forces nationwide to promote this special day, Morris wants residents to know they have two options available year-round – not just on April 27 – to take unused prescriptions to.

“We have a medication destruction box located near the Emergency Department doors at the hospital and Manning Pharmacy houses a destruction box on Main Street Manning as well,” said Morris. “Residents can discreetly take their leftover meds to the box and make sure these unused prescriptions are securely destroyed without posing environmental threats.”  

Morris notes that both sites can accept small amounts of liquids, pills, patches, creams, and inhalers.  However, needles, sharps, or illegal substances are not allowed.

During the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills.  

For more information about what to do with expired medications, please call MRHC at (712) 655-2072. If you or a family member has concerns about prescription drug abuse, please call the Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300.

Antibiotic Awareness:

  • Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them.
  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health, causing illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become untreatable, leading to dangerous infections.
  • Once a medical provider has determined a patient has a bacterial infection that warrants a treatment of antibiotics, it’s vital for patients to follow their prescription usage directions carefully.
  • Finish the whole treatment of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better, because infections can come back even worse than before if you haven’t completely finished the antibiotics.
  • Never use leftover antibiotics to self-treat family members with similar symptoms. Taking leftover antibiotics for a new illness increases your risk of having side effects, making yourself even sicker, or having a reaction.
  • If you have leftover antibiotics, they should be disposed of immediately.


Pictured: Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s Director of Pharmacy, Jen Morris, PharmD, with the Med Drop Box.

MRHC Adds New Services and Providers

Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) continues to evolve to meet community needs. In the last 12 months, MRHC launched several new specialty clinics and procedures, added state-of-the-art technology, expanded family practice appointment times, welcomed new providers to the facility, and refreshed its identity to better reflect inclusion in the Mercy Health Network of hospitals.

The Specialty Clinic, oftentimes referred to as the Outpatient Clinic, experienced the most significant expansion. In addition to expanding services for Hand & Microvascular, Pulmonary Rehab, Wound Care and Pain Relief, MRHC also recently welcomed a new urologist and orthopedic surgeon.  


While MRHC has offered a Urology clinic for many years, the hospital recently contracted with a new urologist to see patients in Manning. As of mid-February, Dr. Andrew Bourne facilitates the Urology clinic.

As a urologist, Dr. Bourne diagnoses and treats diseases of the urinary tract in both men, women and children. He also can diagnose and treat issues involving the reproductive tract in men. On top of that, Dr. Bourne is a board-certified surgeon who has passed a thorough evaluation of both professional competence and ethical fitness to be named a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). 

Common conditions in men that would warrant care from a urologist include prostate gland enlargement, erectile dysfunction, infertility, kidney stones, cancers of the bladder, kidneys, penis, testicles and adrenal and prostate glands. Common urological conditions faced by women include bladder prolapse, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, kidney stones, cancers of the bladder, kidneys and adrenal glands.

In the past, MRHC’s Urology clinic only provided care for adults. However, Dr. Bourne provides pediatric treatments as well. For children, this can include issues such as bed-wetting, undescended testicles, blockages and other problems with the urinary tract structure.

To make a urology appointment with Dr. Bourne, call (712) 655-2072.


MRHC has two orthopedic surgeons available to treat patients, Dr. Kellen Huston and Dr. Clayton Thor. Dr. Thor is a Total Joint Specialist and the newest orthopedic surgeon to join MRHC.

Dr. Thor is the first in the area to offer patients a new, innovative option for partial and total knee replacements using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical System. By using a 3D virtual model, Dr. Thor is able to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. This guidance helps the patient to recover quickly because it spares the muscles and limits tissue damage. It ensures that the surgeon does not cut outside of the pre-defined area.

He also brings a new approach to the area for hip replacements, using a minimally invasive Direct Superior Approach. This approach minimizes damage to soft tissues, spares muscle, avoids cutting crucial muscle groups such as the iliotibial bans and external rotators, and spares the IT band that is used in walking and bending. The Direct Superior Approach typically requires a 3-6 inch incision rather than a 10-12 inch incision that is required for a traditional hip replacement.

Dr. Thor focuses on Total Joint Reconstruction, Total Hip Replacement, Minimally Invasive Direct Superior Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement, Robot Assisted Total Knee Replacement, Robot Assisted Partial Knee Replacement, and Muscle Sparing Total Knee Replacement.

To make a clinic appointment or to schedule a surgical procedure with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call (712) 655-2072.  


The Hand & Microvascular clinic at MRHC offers unique services by surgeon Gavin D. O’Mahony, MD.

“Being able to offer a skilled hand specialist to the community is a great asset to those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel issues and workplace injuries to the hand,” said Linn Block, Chief Nursing Officer at MRHC.

Dr. O’Mahony specializes in trauma; adult, pediatric and congenital hand conditions; carpal and cubital tunnel release; treatment for arthritis of the hand and wrist as well as treatment of injuries to the tendons, nerves and arteries.

To schedule a clinic appointment or surgical procedure with Dr. O’Mahony, call (712) 655-2072. 


Pulmonary Rehab – Recommended for patients who experience frequent or chronic shortness of breath that impacts daily activities. Through exercise therapy, support and breathing techniques, this program can improve lung function and increase quality of life – especially for those suffering from COPD. In order to qualify for pulmonary rehabilitation at MRHC, a patient must be referred by his/her doctor and have spirometry test results within the past year that confirms a COPD diagnosis. 

Respiratory Therapy - Providing a variety of respiratory care treatments and diagnostic tests for patients of all ages. These patients will have concerns affecting their cardiopulmonary system such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma. All respiratory services require an order from a physician.

Wound Care – Specializing in the treatment of all types of difficult-to-heal wounds including diabetic foot ulcers, surgical wounds, infected wounds, pressure ulcers and much more. Individualized treatment plans include traditional and advanced therapies that are proven to reduce healing time and improve healing rates. The Would Care Clinic at MRHC is the only Wound Care Clinic in the area that is overseen by a physician, Dr. Luong.

Pain Clinic – Offering many traditional and non-traditional solutions to ease discomfort and irritation for patients suffering from pain and illness, such as injections and ablations for back and neck pain. Treatments are provided for arthritis, knee pain, shingles, lower back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, work-related injuries, and much more.


Patients at MRHC are benefiting from the latest technological advances that expand access to quality emergency care and improved diagnostics in mammography screening.

First, thanks to grant support from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, MRHC recently added telemedicine capabilities to its emergency department through the inclusion of Avera eCARE® Emergency Services. With this new service, at the push of a button, MRHC’s physicians and emergency room staff have immediate, virtual access to a team of physicians and nurses who specialize in emergency medicine based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Our emergency department provides lifesaving services to the people of Manning and the surrounding communities,” said John O’Brien, CEO of MRHC. “And now we have the ability to extend and enhance that level of health care in our emergency department with access to the same type of specialists available in the big cities. This enables us to deliver better care, right here in our community, and keep patients close to home whenever possible.”

In addition to its new telemedicine capabilities, MRHC is now home to one of the most state-of-the art mammography machines on the market. The Genius 3D mammography machine provides patients with a better, earlier breast cancer detection compared to a 2D mammography alone.

According to Linda Croghan, RTR(M)(CT), Director of Radiology at MRHC, the difference in the 3D mammography compared to traditional 2D imaging is that the 3D exam captures multiple images or slices of the breast from several angles, creating a multi-layered breast image.

“Your image can then be viewed one thin layer at a time, which helps make for a more accurate diagnosis,” said Croghan. “Overall, this technology is the biggest breakthrough in breast cancer detection in 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited that we can offer this potentially lifesaving exam to the community right here in Manning.”

To schedule your 3D mammography exam at MRHC, call 712-655-2072.


MRHC’s Family Practice Clinic welcomed a new provider, Dr. Thang Luong, to the facility in September 2018. Dr. Luong is a 2015 graduate of Des Moines University and is a board-certified family medicine physician. His clinical interests include gynecologic procedures, sports medicine, geriatric medicine and emergency medicine. He also oversees the new Wound Care clinic at the hospital.

“I chose to work at MRHC because I wanted to engage in a full spectrum practice that would allow for assisting my patients every step of the way,” said Dr. Luong. “I really enjoy the camaraderie and passion that every staff member in this facility exhibits. Everyone truly does treat one another like family to allow for optimal coordination and patient care.”

Shortly after Dr. Luong’s arrival, the Clinic extended its hours of operation to better meet the needs of the community. Patients with acute care needs can now walk-in to the Clinic without an appointment on weekdays from 7:00-8:00 a.m. and 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturdays. Additionally they can make appointments with any of the four trusted providers at the clinic between 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. For appointments, call (712) 655-2072.


For nearly three decades, Manning Regional Healthcare Center has contracted with the Mercy Health Network for management support, education and improved patient care standards and opportunities while maintaining its status as an independent hospital. During that time period, Mercy has dramatically expanded its statewide network of care locations and services. Because of that significant growth, on February 1, 2019, Mercy Health Network announced a new system name – MercyOne. The goal of this name change was to unify its many points of care to better enable patients and communities to recognize and navigate its vast network of services.

As a network affiliate, neither MRHC’s name nor any of its offerings have changed as a result of MercyOne’s rebranding. However, MRHC, and most other affiliate members, have adopted the MercyOne brand identity by incorporating it into the hospital logo to show the continued partnership.

Additionally, MRHC recently re-branded the Manning Family Recovery Center by modifying its official name to the Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. The switch to just the “Recovery Center” better reflects its mission and how residents, staff and community members reference it.

Feeling Tired or Losing Sleep?

Daylight savings time took effect on March 10 – causing all of us to “lose” an hour of sleep.

But if you are among those whose sleep continues to suffer, there may be a reason, other than the time change, to blame.

“Lots of people blame daylight savings time, changes in work schedules or just busy lives with kids in general as reasons they are always tired,” said Sherry Myers, Certified Respiratory Therapist at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “And while all of those factors certainly impact our quality of sleep, sometimes there are actual underlying medical conditions that prevent us from getting quality sleep.”

National experts agree adults should receive 7 hours or more of sleep each night for optimal health, yet the reality is more than a third of adults in Iowa report getting much less than that. According to Myers, getting a good night of sleep shouldn’t be considered a luxury, but rather a necessity.

“Many people are surprised to learn that not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you tired, but it can increase your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and depression,” said Myers. “On top of that, not getting enough sleep contributes to motor vehicle crashes and machinery-related injuries.”

In order to diagnose and treat sleep disorders, Manning Regional Healthcare Center provides convenient sleep study options for patients. Testing can be completed in one night with the ability for the patient to go to work immediately after the study. Sleep studies can occur at MRHC or in the convenience of the patient’s own home.

As part of the exam at MRHC, patients will sleep in a comfortable, home-like room, but be connected to monitors where staff can record brain wave activity, eye activity, heart rate, air flow from the mouth, oxygen levels in the blood, body position and muscle movements. This data is then reviewed by a physician to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to help increase sleep quality and quantity.

“While it can seem intimidating to be connected to monitors for one night, the good news is that most sleep disorders are easily diagnosed and treated from just one study,” said Myers.

One of the most common and potentially life-threatening sleep disorders that staff routinely see is Sleep Apnea.  Myers notes this is a condition where there is a delay in breathing that can last for at least 10 to 30 seconds during sleep. In severe cases this can happen multiple times a night without the individual noticing or waking up. As a result, sleep apnea has been linked to heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and strokes.

“If left untreated, sleep apnea can be deadly,” said Myers.  

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness or fatigue, morning headaches, frequent nighttime urination, loud snoring, irritability and more. Risk factors include family history, neck circumference, large tonsils and age – among many others. For more information about how to schedule a sleep study at MRHC, please call (712) 655-2072.


Sleep Apnea Questionnaire

Do you:

  • Snore or have been told that you snore?
  • Often get sleep in the daytime?
  • Feel drowsy when driving?
  • Wake up with morning headaches?
  • Have frequent memory or judgement problems during the day?
  • Experience frequent irritability during the day?
  • Noticed or told you have a personality change?
  • Wake up and/or make frequent trips to the bathroom during the night?
  • Weight 20% or more than your ideal body weight?
  • Have a neck size 17 inches or greater (male) or 16 inches are greater (female)?
  • Have high blood pressure?
  • Have a decrease in sexual drive?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consult with your primary care provider about scheduling a sleep study at Manning Regional Healthcare Center.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives

I don’t have a family history.
I’m too young.
I don’t need screened because I would know if something was wrong.

As part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Manning Regional Healthcare Center is challenging residents to avoid assumptions such as these and get more information about colorectal cancer screening options.

“Colorectal cancer isn’t just a disease that affects people over the age of 50,” said Dr. Doug McLaws, family physician at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “It doesn’t discriminate between men or women and unfortunately rates have been steadily increasing in younger adults.”

McLaws says the reality is that colorectal cancer – cancer that starts in the colon or rectum – is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.

Within the state of Iowa, colon and rectum cancer accounted for 9.2% of all new cancers in females and 9.5% of all male cancer diagnosis in 2018, according to the most recent Cancer in Iowa report from the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

However, the positive news is that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable types of cancer. Specifically, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance notes that the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer found at the early stage is 90 percent, compared to 14 percent for colorectal cancer found at late stages.

“As with any cancer, early detection is key,” said Dr. McLaws. “That’s why screening tests such as colonoscopies are so critical. In fact, we recommend all adults between the ages of 50 and 75 to be screened regularly.”

Dr. McLaws, along with MRHC’s general surgeon, regularly provide colonoscopies at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. The procedure lasts just over 30 minutes, with patients needing someone to drive them home afterward.

McLaws explains many people don’t realize that during a colonoscopy, the physician can not only identify pre-cancerous or cancerous polyps (abnormal growths) but can also remove them during the procedure. This means a potential diagnosis – and cure – can occur at the same time.

“We understand the prep for a colonoscopy can be uncomfortable, but the result of the procedure could allow you to prevent the onset of cancer or begin a treatable and beatable regimen if a diagnosis is made,” said Dr. McLaws.

For more information about how to schedule a colonoscopy at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, please call (712) 655-2072.


What are the Symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people with colorectal polyps or cancer do have symptoms. They may include:

  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement)
  • Stomach pains, aches or camps that don’t go away
  • Losing weight and you don’t know why

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer. However, the only way to know is to see your doctor.


Photo: Dr. Douglas McLaws

Longtime MRHC Nurse named among top 100 in state

(April 2019) For more than 30 years, residents of Manning and patients at Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) have known Julie Hodne, RN, to be a committed, caring nurse who goes out of her way to help community members in need.

Now, the rest of the state is aware of these traits as well.

Hodne was recently selected as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2019. Now in its 15th year, this program honors 100 nurses across the state whose courage, competence and commitment to patients and the nursing profession stand out above all others.

“When you think of a nurse in Manning, you think of Julie,” said Linn Block, Chief Nursing Officer at MRHC. “She truly fits the criteria of this award in that she has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the nursing profession and is viewed as a mentor to others.” 

After finishing coursework at DMACC to become a Registered Nurse, Hodne began working at MRHC in February 1988. Over the years she transitioned to different departments within the hospital, including several years directing Home Health services once offered by MRHC.

She currently serves as the Education, Quality Improvement and DCP Coordinator. In that role she organizes and promotes blood drives throughout the year, teaches safety courses for all hospital staff, routinely goes to the Manning Senior Center to do blood pressure checks, implemented a “Yak track” program to allow patients and staff to take Yak tracks if conditions in the parking lot are slick, teaches high school seniors CPR, sits on many health-related committees throughout the county, and provides many other day-to-day services that focus on educating individuals about health prevention strategies.

“She will do anything to help keep people in this community safe,” noted Block.

Hodne said that through the years she’s always tried her best to help her patients and was told many times that she’d not only been compassionate toward them, but also a good listener. However, being recognized formally for this care philosophy is an honor she was not expecting.

"I was tickled pink when they told me I had even been nominated,” said Hodne. “So to make it to the next stage and learn I’d been selected among all of the nominations is such an honor. I am humbled and so proud that I have touched so many lives.”

To Block, Hodne is the epitome of the connection between the hospital and the community.

“When any group in the community has a need or concern, Julie is the first person they reach out to,” said Block.

Hodne will be honored at MRHC on Thursday, May 9th from 4:30-5:30pm in the MRHC Conference Room, the public is invited to attend. Hodne will be recognized at a special statewide ceremony on May 5th at the Iowa Events Center.

To learn more about the 100 Great Iowa Nurses program, visit


Pictured: Julie Hodne, RN

Spring Babysitting Class Open for Registration

Manning Regional Healthcare Center will be co-hosting a Babysitting Course with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Carroll County on March 15 at Manning Regional Healthcare Center.  The class will be in session from 8:30am - 3:30pm and will be limited to 30 individuals on a first come first serve basis. Topics covered will include: safety, first aid and CPR, child development, good business practices, and entertaining children. Boys and girls in fourth to seventh grade are encouraged to register; registration fee is $35 payable to Carroll County Extension. Registration forms can be found online at and are due on March 10 to Manning Regional Healthcare Center, ATTN: Julie Hodne, 1550 6th Street, Manning, IA 51455. If you have questions, please contact Julie Hodne (712) 790-1498 or Jill Arp (712) 790-1035.


SEEKING PUBLIC FEEDBACK for Manning Regional Healthcare Center Community Health Needs Assessment

(January 21, 2019) Over the next four months, Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) and Carroll County Public Health will be working to update the MRHC Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

The goal of this CHNA update is to understand progress in addressing community health needs cited in the 2016 CHNA report and to collect up-to-date community health perceptions. (Note: ACA legislation requires all tax-exempt hospitals to submit a CHNA to the IRS every three years.)<Note: ACA legislation requires all tax-exempt hospitals to submit a CHNA to the IRS every three years, regardless of hospital affiliation. Each hospital, even those that serve overlapping populations, must submit a separate CHNA.><Note: ACA legislation requires all tax-exempt hospitals to submit a CHNA to the IRS every three years, regardless of hospital affiliation. Each hospital, even those that serve overlapping populations, must submit a separate CHNA.>

To accomplish this work, a short online survey has been developed. (Note: you can also find CHNA feedback link on the MRHC and/or the Carroll County Public Health website and/or Facebook page.)


“This work is vital to determine the health direction for our county,” said John O’Brien, Manning Regional Healthcare Center CEO.

All community residents are encouraged to complete the CHNA online survey by Friday, February 22, 2019 and to attend the upcoming scheduled Town Hall meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2019 from 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm at Manning Regional Healthcare Center Conference Rooms 1 and 2.

Vince Vandehaar, MBA (VVV Consultants LLC, an independent research firm from Olathe, KS) has been retained to conduct this community-wide research.

If you have any questions about CHNA activities, please call Julie Hodne at 712-655-8179.


MANNING, IOWA (December 2018) – The discovery of penicillin and its ability to kill harmful bacteria changed the course of medicine. It allowed thousands of World War II soldiers to survive once-fatal infections and is estimated to have saved more than 200 million people worldwide in the last century.

But less than 80 years after the first patient was successfully treated with penicillin in the United States, researchers fear the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has become a serious public health concern.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic misuse has led to around 2 million people in the United States acquiring infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. Of those, at least 23,000 people die annually as a result.

Medical providers and staff at Manning Regional Healthcare Center are working to help promote awareness regarding antibiotic resistance and the importance of only using antibiotics as prescribed.

“Antibiotic resistance is often referred to as a superbug infection,” said Dr. Doug McLaws, family medicine physician at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “This means that certain strains of bacteria develop the ability to defeat the antibiotics commonly used today that were designed to kill them. As a result, the bacteria multiply and it’s difficult to control.”

One way to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is to avoid misusing the drugs.

For example, Dr. McLaws says that antibiotics are only meant to treat infections caused by bacteria, and not conditions caused by viruses. 

“Many people do not realize that common colds, the flu, bronchitis or even runny noses where the mucous is thick, yellow or green, are not conditions that should be treated by antibiotics,” said Dr. McLaws.

Once a medical provider has determined a patient has a bacterial infection that warrants a treatment of antibiotics, it’s vital for patients to follow their prescription usage directions carefully, according to Jen Morris, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at MRHC.

“It is important to finish the whole treatment of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better, because infections can come back even worse than before if you haven’t completely finished the antibiotics,” said Morris.

Furthermore, Morris notes there are dangers with an unfortunately common practice of saving pills for future illnesses, or using leftover antibiotics to self-treat family members with similar symptoms.

“Taking leftover antibiotics for a new illness increases your risk of having side effects, making yourself even sicker, or having a reaction,” said Morris.

“It is best to come in and be seen by a provider and not attempt to self-treat with antibiotics at home. All old medications can be disposed of in our medication destruction box inside the ER entrance at MRHC or uptown at Manning Pharmacy,” said Morris.

Morris adds that even though antibiotics aren’t appropriate to treat all illnesses, there are often many other over the counter medications that can help you feel better. She encourages people with symptoms to contact their medical provider or ask their pharmacist for suggestions.

For more information about antibiotic resistance, or to make an appointment with a medical provider, call Manning Regional Healthcare Center at 712-655-2072. 


Body Composition Scans: A Blueprint for Improving your Health

If the scale doesn’t show a lower number, does that mean your diet and exercise programs are failing?

Or, if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is within a normal range, can you assume your overall body fat percentage is low?

The answer to both questions is, “No,” according to Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) provider Courtney Rupiper, PA-C.

“Unfortunately, the standard, everyday scales and BMI measurements that we use only tell us part of the story of our body’s health,” said Rupiper. “Oftentimes people get discouraged by these numbers without fully understanding how lifestyle choices are impacting their overall lean muscle mass.”

A more accurate test, according to Rupiper, is a Body Composition Scan – otherwise known as a DEXA Scan. A DEXA Scan is a dual-emission x-ray that was long synonymous as the go-to resource to diagnose osteoporosis.  However, today’s technology is now providing a wealth of data that can be used to accurately measure how changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle choices can influence not just your bone density, but your body’s overall muscle mass and fat composition.

“Using DEXA for this type of measurement is especially beneficial for anyone wanting to get in better shape since exercise alone typically results in fat loss, not weight loss,” said Rupiper.

Locally, MRHC utilizes a state-of-the-art DEXA Scanner that provides body composition testing capabilities for patients. MRHC offers the service with or without physician referral – meaning patients can call and set up appointments at any time.  The 5-minute-exam allows hospital staff to provide patients with a highly-accurate report on their body fat percentage, body mass index, lean muscle mass, ideal body weight and resting metabolic rate, along with highlighting any changes from previous exam baseline percentages.

As a special incentive for patients to chart these initial measurements prior to starting any new diet or fitness routines in 2019, MRHC is offering a 50% off promotion on all Body Composition Scans from now until January 31, 2019.

“We understand that many people aren’t aware of this tool and the beneficial data it can provide,” said Rupiper. “That’s why we are providing an affordable $50 option to help people fully understand their body’s composition and set wellness goals that can be tracked over time.”

Body Composition Scan appointments are available between 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and can be made by calling (712) 655-2072.

To prepare for the appointment, avoid calcium supplements including multi-vitamins for 24 hours prior to the exam. Otherwise, just wear loose comfortable clothing without any metal zippers, buttons or snaps.

MRHC Babysitting Course a HUGE SUCCESS!

Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) and Carroll County Iowa State University (ISU) Extension teamed up to bring the babysitting course back to the area for the community. Jill Arp, RN and Julie Hodne, RN, both nurses at MRHC, worked with Anjanette Treadway, Human Sciences Program Coordinator at ISU Extension, to provide a babysitting basics class for interested boys and girls in grades 4-7. The class was held at MRHC over the course of two evenings and registrations were capped off at thirty students on a first come, first serve basis. The response from the community was wonderful and all thirty spots were filled right away. 

Thirty excited boys and girls attended the babysitting basics class to learn about safety, first aid, CPR, child development, good business practices and tips on how to entertain children. Our local police chief, Sam Hansen, and Manning fireman, Todd Stadtlander, instructed the children on safety in the home and fire facts. Julie Hodne, AHA Instructor, demonstrated CPR/choking skills on children and infant mannequins. The kids enjoyed afterschool snacks prior to class starting and creating their Magic Bags to use when they go to a babysitting job.  Certificates were given to all the students that attended the two day class.

Thank you to Jet Xpress and Casey’s General Store for generously donating delicious sub sandwiches and assorted pizzas to the kids for supper both evenings. Thank you to the children, parents, instructors and everyone else that helped make the babysitting basics class a HUGE success.

Due to popular demand, another babysitting basics class will be held in the spring of 2019, date yet to be determined. To reserve your child’s spot for the spring 2019 babysitting basics class, please contact Julie Hodne or Jill Arp at Manning Regional Healthcare Center by calling (712) 655-2072.

Pictured: Front row(L-R): Emma Schwieso, Caylie Rasmussen, Austin Doyel, Brennen Morris, Miles Nuzback, Makenzie Blum, Ella Langel, Reagon Hoffman and Gavyn Jacobsen

Middle row( L-R): Laura McCarville, Karlee Arp, Camden Morris, Olivia Greving, Kori Sybesma, Haylie Irlbeck, Sam Doyel, Olivia Robinson, Kaleal Hass, Hannah McKinney and Aubrey Alexander

Back row(L-R): Emma Calhoun, Trinity Miller, Taylor Beckendorf, Kennedy Eischeid, Kaui Jenkins, Raegan Garrison, Logan Vonnahme, Megan Williams, Eryn Ramsey and Olivia Beck


Babysitting Class Open for Registration

Manning Regional Healthcare Center will be co-hosting a Babysitting Course with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Carroll County on October 30 and November 1 at Manning Regional Healthcare Center.  The class will be in session from 4-7pm each night and will be limited to 30 individuals on a first come first serve basis. Topics covered will include: safety, first aid and CPR, child development, good business practices, and entertaining children. Boys and girls in fourth to seventh grade are encouraged to register; registration fee is $35 payable to Carroll County Extension. Registration forms can be found online at and are due on October 23 to Manning Regional Healthcare Center, ATTN: Julie Hodne, 1550 6th Street, Manning, IA 51455. If you have questions, please contact Jill Arp (712) 790-498 or Julie Hodne (712) 790-1035.




October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the best ways to detect breast cancer is by getting regular mammograms.


Kae Rene Rogers, 72, of Manning, Iowa, knows firsthand how important it is to receive your mammogram and how it can influence your future health. Having no family history of cancer, Rogers wasn’t too concerned about the risk of breast cancer or any cancer at all. She had attended regular healthcare appointments, watched what she ate, stayed active with the grandkids and was living a healthy life.


In February 2018 Rogers received a letter from the Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) department of radiology informing her about the newly installed 3-D mammography machine and that she had not received a mammogram since 2014 - four years ago. According to the American’s Cancer Society, women age 40 to 55 should receive a mammogram every year and woman aged 55 and older should receive a mammogram every year or every other year.


Like many people with busy lives, Rogers told herself that she needed to schedule a mammogram after receiving the letter but delayed making the appointment. One week after receiving the letter, Rogers received a phone call from Linda Croghan, RT (R) (M) (CT), director of radiology, informing Rogers of the importance of annual screenings. Croghan also explained how the newly installed 3-D mammography machine is more effective at identifying tumors, especially those hiding behind the dense breast tissue. On February 15, 2018 Rogers received her 3-D mammogram.


“Linda called me after my 3-D mammogram and said I should make a follow-up appointment with my primary care provider, Dr. McLaws, at the MRHC clinic to go over my results. I met with Dr. McLaws and we reviewed my mammogram together. The scan showed that I had a lump in my right breast and that I would need a breast biopsy.


Nine days after receiving her 3-D mammogram at MRHC, Rogers followed Dr. McLaws’ recommendation of visiting the Katzmann Breast Center in Des Moines, Iowa. There she had a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound and breast biopsy completed. These tests confirmed the diagnoses of breast cancer. By the middle of March, Rogers had met with all members of her MRHC Cancer Care Team. This team included oncologist Dr. Parker-Brueggemann, cardiologist Dr. Ulveling, general surgeon Dr. Miller, primary care provider Dr. McLaws, Croghan, Liesa Meislahn, RN and Taylor Potthoff, RN.  


Dr. Parker-Brueggemann met with Rogers at the MRHC Specialty Clinic to establish a care plan together. She then had an echocardiogram overseen by MRHC cardiologist Dr. Ulveling and her chemotherapy port was placed by Dr. Miller.  Croghan in radiology scheduled her PET/CT scan and Liesa Meislahn, RN and Taylor Potthoff, RN assisted Rogers with her daily care and made sure she understood everything that she was experiencing during her fight against breast cancer.


“I was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer. My port was placed in March; I received four rounds of chemotherapy at the MRHC Specialty Clinic. At the end of May I had a mastectomy on my right breast done at Mercy in Des Moines. I restarted chemotherapy after my mastectomy and completed my last treatment on October 8, 2018.


“I have never had cancer before, no one in my family has ever had cancer, so I had no idea what to expect. I can tell you that everyone at Manning Regional Healthcare Center has been so helpful throughout this whole process over the past nine months. They go out of their way to help you. It hasn’t been easy. I was sick, weak, and lost my hair. I learned a lot about myself and cancer but they were there for me every step of the way to help me through it.


“I cannot stress enough to everyone and anyone who will listen, PLEASE GET A MAMMOGRAM! If Linda had not sent me the letter and called to make an appointment I probably would’ve gone another year and the breast cancer would’ve kept growing and spreading. Please, please, please get a mammogram. Do it for yourself, your family and your friends.


To schedule your 3-D mammogram, meet with an oncologist or to talk about your options for receiving chemotherapy at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, please call (712) 655-2072.



Pictured: Kae Rogers MRHC Cancer Care Team (L to R) Liesa Meislahn, RN, Dr. Parker-Brueggemann, Kae Rene Rogers, Linda Croghan, RT (R) (M) (CT), and Taylor Potthoff, RN. Not pictured: Dr. Ulveling, Dr. McLaws and Dr. Miller



At Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) we pride ourselves on our team approach to providing patient-centered care. We are always looking for ways to improve upon each patient’s experience with us throughout their lifetime of receiving care from our local trusted providers. We think that many of you may have great ideas about how we can continue to improve the health care experience for patients and families right here at MRHC. We would like to invite you to help us identify those improvements by becoming a patient and family advisor at Manning Regional Healthcare Center.

A patient and family advisor will help us improve the patient experience by sharing stories about their hospital experience in training sessions for nurses, doctors and other hospital staff, helping to create materials and plans for improving health care quality and safety for all patients, providing input on how to improve our policies and care practices, giving feedback about their hospital stay, and letting us know what went well and what we can do better.

To be a patient and family advisor, advisors need to be able to listen and share their opinions respectfully, think about ways to improve health care, and work well with others. You do not need any special qualifications to be an advisor.

If you are interested in learning more about serving as patient and family advisor for MRHC, please contact Jackie Blackwell, QI Coordinator at MRHC, via phone at (712) 655-2072 or via email at

MRHC's Senior Life Solutions Recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions Spotlights Program Therapist in Honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

MANNING, IOWA (September 11, 2018) – Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s (MRHC) Senior Life Solutions program is raising awareness about September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with a spotlight on their new Program Therapist, Amy Hull. MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults over the age of 65 struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety often related to aging.

Hull comes to MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions with seventeen years of experience and a Masters of Social Work from St. Ambrose University.  When asked what led her to become a social worker, Hull says that “growing up through the farm crisis and seeing people affected by issues of alcoholism, poverty, both parents working outside of the home; I knew that I wanted to help people to overcome barriers and personal struggles so that these challenges could become triumphs and successes.”

One of Hull’s favorite parts of being involved with MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program is hearing about the profound challenges clients have overcome in the past such as war, the depression, droughts, political upheaval and helping them to remember that they still have the capabilities and knowledge to overcome the challenges of today.

According to Hull, benefits that clients receive from participating in MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program are knowing they have the intrinsic power to improve their struggles and that there are opportunities waiting for them to explore - they just need the courage to take them; and that they gain an understanding that they are still valuable - to the members of MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions, their families and this community.

Hull, as well as the rest of MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions team is hoping to break down any negative stereotypes about mental health. By attending MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program, patients are learning that what they are feeling is an illness that needs and deserves treatment, just like a physical illness. If you or someone you know may benefit from attending MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program give Amy Hull and her team a call at (712) 655-8262 to discuss your options, no referral is necessary.

Pictured: Amy Hull, MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions Program Therapist

MRHC Shines Spotlight on National Recovery Month

The Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center hosted Manning Mayor Harvey Dales and other regional community leaders on September 11th to increase awareness and support individuals in recovery from previous alcohol and substance abuse addictions. As part of a special event, Mayor Dales signed an official proclamation to formally recognize September as National Recovery Month. Later in the day, members of the Carroll County Substance Abuse and Mental Health team collaborated to identify the rising trends of addiction in the area and how each organization can work together to address these issues.

“Our goal today was to emphasize that individuals in recovery and their support systems can be change agents in our communities,” said Eric Weinkoetz, Director of the Recovery Center. “It is critical that people experiencing substance and alcohol abuse receive the support they need. The reality is that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.”

The proclamation signing at MRHC was one of several celebrations across the country as part of Recovery Month, a national observance sponsored by SAMHSA, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The observance raises awareness of mental and substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

The Recovery Center is a 16-bed co-ed chemical dependency facility located in Manning. For nearly four decades, Recovery Center staff have adapted treatments to meet the most pressing or newly emergent addiction issues. From alcoholism, to the influx of meth to the abuse of prescription painkillers, staff have consistently helped clients take their first step toward healthy, drug and alcohol-free lifestyles.   

“We understand that recovery from alcohol addiction and drug abuse is a long-term process that requires the appropriate level of treatment combined with ongoing support,” said Weinkoetz. “We can provide individuals the right medical care, behavioral therapy and social support to enable a healthy lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol.”

For more information about the Recovery Center, visit or call 712-655-2300.

Photo Caption: Mayor Harvey Dales signs the National Recovery Month proclamation and is joined by Recovery Center Director, Eric Weinkoetz, MRHC Director of Nursing, Linn Block, and MRHC CEO, John O’Brien.



MANNING, IOWA (September 10, 2018) – Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Thang Luong to the MRHC Clinic. Several of you may recognize Dr. Luong from his month long internship working with Dr. McLaws in the MRHC Clinic back in January of this year. Dr. Luong is a 2015 graduate of Des Moines University and is a board-certified family medicine physician; he recently completed his 36-month residency at Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine in Davenport, Iowa. Originally from California, Dr. Luong is also a member of the Flying Samaritans which has allowed him to travel to central Mexico to provide care at a free clinic to area residents.

Dr. Luong is eager to get to know his new patients and see some familiar faces in the MRHC Clinic. He stated that he values the full spectrum practice of family medicine and enjoys spending time in the Emergency Department, which is what made the MRHC Clinic such a great fit for him. He has found Manning to be a very peaceful community and says it’s refreshing to live in a place where everyone you pass tells you, ‘hello.’  

When not at MRHC, Dr. Luong enjoys reading, watching movies, exercising and spending time with his family and friends. He is looking forward to spending time less time studying and more time with his girlfriend, Vi, who is currently pursuing her degree to become a Nurse Practitioner.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Luong, please call the MRHC Clinic at (712) 655-2072.

Pictured: Dr. Thang Luong

MRHC to Host Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic Saturday, October 6

MANNING, IOWA (Thursday, September 20, 2018) – As the fall season starts to approach, so does the infamous flu season.

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.

“It’s important that everyone consider the flu shot, not only for themselves but for their families. As a family, business or community, the more we can do to stop the spread of influenza, the better off we’ll be as a whole. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot,” explains Jill Arp, RN, MRHC infection control.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated, including:

  • Children under the age of 5 years old
  • Adults over the age of 65 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with weakened immune systems

Additionally, the following individuals should strongly consider flu vaccinations:

  • Health care workers
  • People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and caregivers of children
  • Daycare providers
  • Teachers and educators

“The timing and duration of the flu season varies. Vaccinations should begin as soon as vaccines are available. It takes about two weeks after receiving a vaccination for the necessary antibodies to develop to protect against influenza virus infection,” advises Arp.

MRHC will be hosting a flu shot clinic on Saturday, October 6, from 8:00am – 11:00am. No appointments will be necessary and regular and high-does vaccinations will be available. Payments for vaccinations may be made through insurance or by cash or check for $30/$50 per person.

MRHC is also offering on-site flu shot clinics for local businesses. Any businesses interested in offering on-site flu vaccinations for their employees can contact Jill Arp for details and to make arrangements, (712) 655-2072.

Pictured: Jill Arp, MRHC infection control, places a Band-Aid on Boni Johnson, MRHC ER Supervisor, after Johnson received her flu shot.

Free First Aid, CPR & AED Training

Spots fill up fast, reserve your seat today by calling (712) 655-8179

News Feed

Manning Man Finds Comfort from MRHC Wound Care Center

November 18, 2019 

Ralph Dobler woke up one morning and knew something was wrong. The bottom of his foot was tender to the touch and the pain turned excruciating when he walked.

“I knew right away that I needed to get into the doctor and have it evaluated,” said Dobler, 74, of Manning.
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 specialtie