Don’t be the Dealer: Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 30th

dispose of leftover medications

Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) encourages everyone to go through their medicine cabinets while spring cleaning this year and take part in Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30th.

While it may seem convenient to keep leftover medications “just in case” the next time you or a family member are sick, it can be very dangerous.

“Resist the temptation to go to your cabinet to take any leftover medication, especially antibiotics,” said Jen Morris, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at MRHC. “A big concern with patients not finishing medications as prescribed is a fear of developing antibiotic resistance.”

What is Antibiotic Resistance?
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Illnesses once easily treatable with antibiotics can become untreatable, leading to dangerous infections.
  • If a patient has a bacterial infection that warrants antibiotic treatment, it is vital they 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 don’t finish 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 you sicker, or causing a reaction.

Not taking the correct doses of prescribed antibiotics and saving leftover pain pills has evolved from a public health issue to a public safety concern. Research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including medication being stolen from home medicine cabinets.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a public health, public safety, and national security threat. The DEA’s Take Back Day encourages safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs to help prevent medication misuse and opioid addiction.

Medication Disposal Options

Morris notes that residents have two options available year-round to dispose of unused prescriptions – not just on April 30. dispose of leftover medications

“We have a medication drop box located at the Emergency Department entrance at the hospital and the Manning Pharmacy houses a destruction box uptown as well,” shared Morris. “Residents can discreetly take their leftover medications to these boxes and make sure unused prescriptions are securely destroyed without posing environmental threats.”

Both sites can accept small amounts of liquids, pills, patches, creams, and inhalers. However, needles, sharps, and illegal substances are not allowed. Morris notes that common methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—are potential safety and health hazards and are not advised.

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.

MRHC Makes Changes to Enhance Patient Experience

Sara Vitito, ARNP at MRHC who offers same day appointments

Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) has made recent changes to improve patient accessibility to providers and convenience of care. Sara Vitito, ARNP, joined the Family Practice Clinic on March 8th with the intention to offer more same-day appointments.  Sara Vitito, ARNP at MRHC who offers same day appointments

“We have seen an increase of the need for same day appointments, so we are changing the model of our Family Practice Clinic to accommodate these demands,” shared MRHC Clinic Director, Shelby Dickson, RN. “This new structure will allow our primary care providers to focus on their patients, provide more convenient and accessible appointment options with Sara, and improve the overall patient experience.”

Originally from Omaha and now residing in Defiance, Iowa, Vitito is excited to begin meeting patients. She looks forward to caring for local families and providing a continuum of care from birth until the elderly years.

“We are committed to offering the best health care in the region and we hope that these changes happening in our Family Practice Clinic will improve patient care for locals so they may be seen on the same day as making an appointment,” shared MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA.

New Designated Phone Number for Appointments

MRHC has also designated a new phone number for patients to call when scheduling appointments. Patients can now dial (712) 655-8100 to schedule an appointment in the Family Practice Clinic and Specialty Clinics.

This designated phone line provides ease for patients wishing to schedule appointments for regular well-child visits, annual exams, health concerns, or common sicknesses in the Family Practice Clinic, and services including OB-GYN, Orthopedics, ENT, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Clinic, Wound Care, wellness clinics, and general surgery in the Specialty Clinic.

Appointments for rehabilitation services including physical, occupational and speech therapy should still be scheduled by calling (712) 655-2072. Senior Life Solutions can be reached by calling (712) 655-8262. The number for the Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center will remain (712) 655-2300.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health or need to speak directly with someone at MRHC, do not hesitate to call the main line at (712) 655-2072.

Dickson Takes Advantage of Career Opportunities at MRHC

Shelby Dickson

Shelby DicksonMRHC Registered Nurse, Shelby Dickson, is grateful for the opportunity to thrive in a career close to home and make a difference in healthcare. Even at a young age, Dickson knew she was meant to work in the medical field.

“I went to school for radiology and soon realized that I wanted to be involved in the problem-solving piece of patient care,” said Dickson. “I chose nursing because there are so many areas you can work in as a nurse. After getting my CNA and working as an aid on a Med/Surg/Peds floor, I found out that I loved patient care and that it was where I wanted to be.”

Dickson continued with nursing school at DMACC in Carroll and graduated in 2009. She worked in Med/Surg/Peds at Saint Anthony Regional Hospital until 2014 and then worked at a private clinic in Carroll for a year before accepting the health coach position at MRHC.

“At MRHC, employees can potentially wear a lot of hats, and I always took that as an opportunity to learn more and be helpful,” Dickson said. “As the Health Coach, I was a resource for the clinic nurses, so I continued to learn more about the clinic processes which has brought me to the position I am in today.”

Dickson has continued to advance in her career at MRHC and now works as the Clinic Director.

“MRHC has given me opportunities to learn and advance in my career. When the Clinic Director position opened, I had learned enough about the clinic that I was ready to take on a challenge and move up,” she said.

Dickson attributes her ability to advance and excel in her career partially to the management team at MRHC.

“Linn [Block] is always suggesting leadership classes and workshops to help me learn how to be an effective leader. Many managers have been supportive to me when it comes to new obstacles. There is always someone ready to listen and help guide you,” Dickson said.

Even when the pandemic presented new challenges, Dickson felt supported and empowered to make important decisions for staff and patients.

“Administration is always listening to my ideas, and we talk a lot about empathy here – putting yourself in the patient’s shoes. Keeping patients at the center of every decision we make benefits patients,” said Dickson.

The MRHC management team recognizes Dickson’s value to the hospital as well as how she has made significant changes to benefit patients and make the clinic an overall good place to work.

“Shelby has showed continued growth in her ability to lead our Family Practice Clinic, and she is well respected by the team,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Shelby sees her role as ensuring our community has convenient access to quality, primary care providers.”

As for the future of her career, Dickson is eager to continue to advance in her education as well as grow in her role at MRHC.

“I love the people that I work with and the mission of the hospital. I hope to get my bachelor’s degree and take on more responsibilities here at MRHC.”

For a list of current openings or to apply at MRHC, go or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.