Bruce Named Outstanding Employee at MRHC

George Bruce

George BruceGeorge Bruce, IT Specialist at Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC), was recognized for his exceptional performance and growth in his job and received the 2023 MRHC Outstanding Employee Award on May 10th. Bruce was nominated for the award by several of his co-workers who all agreed he not only meets but exceeds the criteria for this award.

The Outstanding Employee Award recognizes an MRHC employee who consistently performs a high quality of work and extra duties beyond those normally assigned, demonstrates a willingness to work with others and assist whenever needed, has a positive attitude, displays exceptional dependability, and creates a positive work environment. Characteristics that Bruce undeniably possesses, making him a popular nomination and an easy choice for the award.

In a nomination letter, one of Bruce’s co-workers commented that, “George is extremely passionate about his job and ensures that MRHC not only has a safe network but that users can access and do their work efficiently. He has gone above and beyond in the number of projects he has helped to implement in the time he has been here. We are so much safer and better off with him. I don’t know what we would do without George!”

Another co-worker commented that, “everyone at MRHC knows his laugh, and he’s built positive, collaborative relationships with employees all throughout the facility. I think most, if not all, would say that if George is working on their IT problem, they can expect a resolution. He continually puts in time outside of his core hours (evenings and weekends) and he is always there and available. There are so many technical things George has impacted that most employees don’t see or know about.”

In addition to assisting with technical needs and problem-solving for fellow co-workers, Bruce has also played an integral role in helping MRHC seamlessly introduce a new electronic health record system earlier this year.

“George’s technical knowledge is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever worked with and that shows in his quality of work,” said a fellow co-worker. “He has been instrumental in our EMR conversion, often serving as the subject matter expert for technologies, vendors, equipment, and systems that we don’t even own.”

Several of Bruce’s co-workers also shared how his personality, dependability, and commitment to MRHC make him the best choice for the Outstanding Employee Award.

“George is extremely dependable when it comes to finding answers or solving problems and he works tirelessly until he finds solutions for his peers,” a co-worker wrote. “He puts others’ wants and needs above his own and is always willing to lend a helping hand where needed. If there is a problem, he will not only fix it but go above and beyond to research how to prevent it from happening in the future. He is super knowledgeable, very approachable, and always willing to help. We are so lucky to have George at MRHC!”

Hip Surgery Now Offered at MRHC

Dr. Stokesbary, orthopedic surgeon

Dr. Stokesbary, orthopedic surgeonMRHC is excited to add hip surgeries to the list of orthopedic services offered in the Specialty Clinic. To accommodate this additional service, Dr. Steven Stokesbary, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon now offers orthopedic services in Manning three times per month.

“We understand that patients and their loved ones prefer to have surgeries and procedures done close to home, so we are excited to offer hip surgeries in Manning,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Due to the increase in demand, we have also added another clinic date, so we are able to continue to offer additional specialty services for our patients.”

As a General Orthopedist with an emphasis in total knee and hip replacement, sports medicine, and arthroscopic surgery, Dr. Stokesbary also offers knee ACL reconstruction, rotator cuff repairs, treatment for chronic and acute pain, carpal tunnel release, ulnar nerve transposition, and trigger finger release.

To see upcoming clinic dates, visit the MRHC website or call (712) 655-8100 to schedule an appointment.

hip surgery

Senior Life Solutions Awarded 2022 Training Site and Program Finalist of the Year

Senior Life Solutions awards

MRHC is pleased to announce that the hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program has received the 2022 Training Site and Program Finalist of the Year awards. Senior Life Solutions Program Director, Janet Brus, RN; Program Therapist Amy Hull, LISW; and Office and Patient Coordinator, Cathy Dammann were surprised and presented with these awards on Thursday, March 16th. Senior Life Solutions awards

Senior Life Solutions is managed by Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC), which partners with more than 100 facilities nationwide to provide behavioral healthcare management services. Top-performing employees and Senior Life Solutions programs from around the country are recognized annually based on their excellence in demonstrating the program’s values of care, compliance, and community. Award recipients demonstrate outstanding patient care, excellent comprehension and execution of compliance regulations, and strong community engagement.

“This is truly an honor,” said Senior Life Solutions Program Director, Janet Brus. “We work hard to provide a quality service for the hospital and our patients. They are the reason we are here. We love what we do.”

Senior Life Solutions is a program designed to meet the unique needs of individuals, 65 and older, experiencing symptoms of age-related depression or anxiety, dealing with difficult life transitions, a recent health diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one. MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, a licensed therapist, a registered nurse, and other trained professionals dedicated to the well-being of seniors and that each patient receives the best possible care.

The Senior Life Solutions area at MRHC was recently renovated and expanded to include a dedicated group therapy meeting room with state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities that allow for patients to join remotely. Dedicated offices are also available for the therapist and psychiatrist to meet one-on-one with patients.

Families, friends, community members, physicians, self-referrals, or other health professionals can refer people to the program. For more information, education, or to discuss support, please call 712-655-8262.

Psychiatric Medical Care

MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program is managed by Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC). Founded in 2003, PMC is a leading behavioral healthcare management company. Focused on addressing the needs of rural and underserved communities, PMC manages inpatient behavioral health units, intensive outpatient programs, and telehealth services in more than 30 states. The company’s services provide evaluation and treatment for patients suffering from depression, anxiety, mood disorders, memory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other behavioral health problems. For more information, visit

MRHC Receives Employee Engagement Award

employee engagement

MRHC was recently awarded the Guardian of Excellence Award from Press Ganey for Employee Engagement. This award honors clients who have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience, employee or physician engagement, or clinical quality performance—awarded annually based on one year of data.

“Learning that we were awarded the Guardian of Excellence Award was a great way to start our year off,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Without each and every one of us, this recognition would not have happened. I am proud of everyone at MRHC for the work they do with their teams, it is paying off!”

MRHC celebrated their employee engagement award with a picnic lunch at the hospital for all staff on Wednesday, March 15th. Employees were greeted with a banner congratulating their hard work and thanked with lunch, dessert, and a small gift.

In addition to events like this, MRHC strives to offer a variety of appreciation events and activities for employees to take part in. Throughout the past year, MRHC Chief Human Resources Officer, Shelli Lorenzen, and the Employee Engagement Team at MRHC have organ ized events and activities such as:

  • Soup cook-offs
  • Quarterly lunches for work anniversaries
  • A Halloween costume contest
  • Giveaways
  • Providing large coloring pages for stress relief during the Meditech patient portal transition
  • ‘Guess the Santa’ challenge during the holidays where employees dressed up as Santa and co-workers were challenged to guess who was behind the beard for a prize
  • Thankful elves were passed around to share appreciation for one another
  • Grade school pictures were shared to see if employees could guess who was who
  • Food trucks came to MRHC during Hospital Week
  • Food and drinks were brought in often from local businesses
  • Special treats, fun activities, and prizes were held and given out during holidays and much more

“While these events are just a small gesture, it’s something we can continue to do to engage our MRHC team and relay our appreciation for all our employees. An engaged team is needed to continue to grow and be the center of health and wellness for this community,” said Block. “I can’t stress enough how important each and every one of you are.”

employee engagement event

MRHC’s Amy McLaughlin Earns HFMA Certification

Amy McLaughlin

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

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

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

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

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

MRHC Contributes to Community Beyond Healthcare

MRHC exterior

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

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

Community Impact

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

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

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

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

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

Economic Impact

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

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

MRHC Helps Individuals Live at Home Longer with Occupational Therapy

aging in place

90% of older adults want to stay in their homes as they age. Occupational therapy at MRHC can help promote aging in place to help individuals live, work, and play more independently.

“As an Occupational Therapist, I want to help make that a reality for individuals,” said Amanda Arneson, MOTR/L, MRHC Occupational Therapist. “Our therapy treatments can help with aging in place by promoting independence and safety to make activities of daily living more doable.” Occupational therapist, Amanda Arneson

Aging in place refers to an individual making a conscious decision to live in the residence of their choice for as long as they can with the comforts that are important to them. As they age, adding supplementary services to facilitate their living conditions and maintain their quality of life may be necessary. These could include assistance with personal care, household chores, making meals, money management, or health care.

Family members should consider the following questions when determining the best course of action for an aging adult:

  • What is the ideal way for them to spend their retired years?
  • What type of home environment do you see them living in – individual, community, assisted?
  • What special health care requirements are needed or anticipated?
  • What other types of supplementary services are needed?
  • What options are available in case of emergencies, life changing events, accidents, etc.?

“Aging in place does not mean that you need to do everything yourself,” Arneson explained. “You can choose to do as little or as much as you want, can, and are capable of.”

Occupational therapy at MRHC is available for people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Services can promote independence and aging in place by assisting with the following:

  • Getting around (adaptive devices: cane, walker, wheelchair)
  • Safety concerns and fall prevention
  • Home modifications (grab bars, lighting, and toilet risers)
  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Showering
  • Shopping
  • Medications
  • Cognition and memory
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Balance.

A doctor’s referral is required to be seen by an occupational therapist.

In addition to occupational therapy, MRHC provides a variety of other services to help community members live at home longer. Physical therapy is beneficial for those who are suffering from an injury, recovering from surgery, or dealing with any sort of acute or chronic pain. Senior Life Solutions offers an outpatient group counseling program to meet unique needs of adults over 65 struggling with depression and anxiety, often related to aging. Residential and outpatient medical care, behavioral therapy, and social support to enable a healthy lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol is available through the Recovery Center.

If you or a loved one would benefit from services that enable you to live at home longer, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider at MRHC by calling (712) 655-8100. To learn more about occupational therapy services contact Amanda Arneson at (712) 655-8298 or by email at

February is American Heart Month: Be Heart Healthy

heart attack signs

Dr. UlvelingHeart attack and cardiac arrest are two topics that have been in the news lately and are critical things to discuss relative to heart health. Manning Regional Healthcare Center sat down with Dr. Kyle Ulveling, the hospital’s visiting Cardiologist in the specialty clinic to learn more.

“A heart attack and cardiac arrest are different diagnoses with two very different treatments,” said Ulveling, MD. “A heart attack is when there is not enough blood flow to the heart. The warning signs are typically exertional chest pain or other exertional symptoms like jaw, arm, or teeth pain. It typically will get worse with activity and better with rest. If you have any of these signs don’t wait until it’s so bad that you don’t think you can complete an activity. Get checked out right away either by your primary care provider, an urgent care, or at the ER if it is severe.”

Other common warning signs of a heart attack can include:

  • Fullness, indigestion, or a choking feeling
  • Sweating, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Severe weakness, anxiety, fatigue, or shortness of breath
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat

“Cardiac arrest is not necessarily a blockage problem of the heart, it’s where the heart has gone out of rhythm and is either too slow or too fast, not getting enough blood to the body. This is treated with things like CPR, shocks from either an AED, or in the hospital from a defibrillator,” Ulveling said. “One of the best things that you can do just as a person in the community is, if you’ve got access to training, learn how to do CPR and be trained how to use an AED. You can help somebody in the future should that happen to them.”

MRHC offers monthly CPR/AED training for anyone who wishes to be trained. Upcoming class dates are March 20 and April 17 at 6p.m. in the MRHC education room located in the maintenance shed behind the hospital. Course fee is $45 and includes a certificate and book.

Those interested in registering should call (712) 655-8179.

How to Maintain a Healthy Heart

While some heart issues can be hereditary, there are ways to help maintain a healthy heart. Dr. Ulveling shares some tips on things you can do without a doctor’s help for your heart health.

“Number one, moderate things in your diet like sodium, fats, or carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any, but recommended amounts can help prevent heart damage in the future. Number two, moderate physical activity for 20 minutes a day at least five days a week. This can be walking, biking, or any other uninterrupted, athletic activity. Lastly, regular well checks. Even if you don’t have a complaint, providers would much prefer to catch things earlier rather than when they might cause symptoms later on,” advised Ulveling.

It is also important to abstain from tobacco and vaping, find ways to manage stress to the best of your ability, and control high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol with medications if necessary.

If you have any heart health concerns, Dr. Ulveling with the Iowa Heart Center in Carroll comes to Manning offering cardiology services on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Cardiac nuclear imaging & stress testing can be performed on an as needed basis. On the third Tuesday of the month, echocardiograms are performed in the specialty clinic.

If you have a history of heart health complications or have any heart health concerns, talk to your primary care provider about scheduling a cardiology appointment with Dr. Ulveling. To make an appointment to see Dr. Ulveling at MRHC, call (712) 792-6500.



Nissen Celebrates Over 50 Years at MRHC

Linnet Nissen

Linnet NissenAfter 51.5 years of dedication to Manning Regional Healthcare Center, Linnet Nissen, a recognizable name and face for many current and past MRHC patients, employees, and providers, has made the decision to retire. Nissen was hired at Manning General Hospital in September of 1971 and she recalls how things were quite different back then.

“When I first started, I did switchboard, admissions, and all other office duties,” Nissen shared. “I was hired to do medical transcription for all the doctors and surgeons which was interesting since I didn’t have any medical background or transcription experience. I took typing in high school which consisted of the first semester on a manual typewriter and the second semester electric. I was told to leave blanks on the words I didn’t know, which ended up being a lot. So, I relied on the nurses quite a bit. I would put the tape back in the Dictaphone, run it up to the nurse’s station, and they would tell me what the word was. They later hired a transcriptionist to do that, and I moved into other shifts.”

Since starting her career at Manning General Hospital in the early 70s, Nissen has held a variety of roles and worn several hats throughout the years.

“I have done billing for all insurances, home health care insurance billing, reconciled Medicare, XIX and BC logs for fiscal year end, admissions with scheduling, transcription, and helped with the control center for fire, ambulance, and police when Manning General Hospital had the control center in their business office. We also did rural water and lifeline for a few years,” Nissen recalled. “I liked working with all the departments, but when we moved into our new building in 2014, I wanted to be up front as I enjoy taking care of and talking with our patients. I have known a lot of them for many, many years.”

Throughout her 50+ years at MRHC, Nissen has seen healthcare change and evolve before her eyes. She recalls that the installation of their first computer system was one of the biggest advancements at the hospital during her career.

“I think that was in the middle 80s, and we have probably gone through at least four or five different systems since then throughout my time at the hospital,” Nissen said. “With the upcoming changes for the new computer system and after working for 51 years, I decided it was time to retire.”

As Nissen looks forward to retirement, she reflects on all the relationships she has built with all the people she has met through MRHC.

“I have had a lot of memorable moments throughout the years. All my supervisors have been great, and I have been through it all with several personnel, weddings, graduations, deaths, and many laughs over the years,” Nissen shared.

“Linnet is the epitome of dedication having worked a majority of her life at MRHC,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “She will be missed by so many of our patients and staff and leaves a legacy of kindness, compassion, and empathy for all those she encounters. We wish her health, happiness, and fun in her retirement.”

It’s no surprise that after 51 years, Nissen has grown close to many patients, employees, and providers and finds retirement somewhat bittersweet.

“I think my longevity with working at MRHC has to do with the people and patients and the fact that I really didn’t want to travel to go to work. I raised my three children from the age of three months until they all graduated from high school while working here,” Nissen shared. “I feel I will leave a lot of my heart and soul at MRHC because they have also been a family to me. I will truly miss the patients, families, and employees who have made my job so complete and fulfilling. This isn’t goodbye, it is see you all later. Thanks for the memories…”

To join the MRHC team, visit or call (712) 655-2072 for more information on current job openings.

MRHC to Focus on Patient Experience in 2023

patient portal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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