Free Medicare Information Seminar on March 26th

Medicare event

MRHC will be hosting a free “Welcome to Medicare” seminar on March 26th, from 7-9 pm for anyone interested in learning more about Medicare.

Offered by MRHC and the State of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), a free and confidential service, this seminar will cover Medicare Parts A & B benefits, Prescription Drug Benefits (Part D), Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare supplement insurance, and share tips to help individuals identify Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse.

Interested individuals must call (712) 655-2072 by March 19th to register. Attendees should enter through the Emergency entrance and follow the posted signs.

Even if you do not yet qualify for Medicare, MRHC’s volunteer SHIIP Counselor, Nancy Danner, recommends that “the best time to start getting information is before you actually need it, so I advise thinking about it at least 6-12 months before someone turns 65 years old.”

Danner is also available every Wednesday at MRHC to meet with individuals by appointment. She can provide information to aid in Medicare decision-making and answer questions related to Medicare itself, benefits, plan options, claims, and how to guard against becoming a victim of Medicare fraud. She will not provide recommendations for plans or agents but can answer questions and provide impartial information to help individuals make educated decisions and assist people who have a limited income.

Anyone interested in making an appointment with Danner can email or call MRHC at 712-655-2072. If a client is only wishing to talk on the phone, they may leave their phone number and Danner will return their call. Click here to learn more.

Get to Know MRHC CEO, Shannon Black

Shannon Black

Shannon BlackIn February, MRHC was pleased to welcome Shannon Black as the hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer. With her unique blend of experience and vision, MRHC looks forward to navigating the future of rural healthcare under her guidance and leadership, while remaining dedicated to continuing its mission of providing trusted, quality care close to home. Learn more about Black’s background, personal life, and what inspired her career in healthcare.

Q: What encouraged you to pursue a career in healthcare administration?

Shannon: Rural healthcare has always been my passion. I am a 5th generation rural Iowan and care deeply about the future of healthcare in our communities and being able to take care of the people we serve for years to come.

Q: What has your career path looked like that brought you to where you are now?

Shannon: I’ve been in the industry for about 20 years. Most recently I served as clinic administrator for Unity Point Clinics in the Des Moines market, serving family medicine clinics in Waukee where I worked to increase patient access, patient experience, and employee satisfaction. Prior to that, I was with Greene County Medical Center for about ten years where I held several different leadership positions and wore many hats learning the ropes of rural healthcare. I had some great mentors along the way who allowed me to learn, grow, and develop my career path. I have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Walden University and will have my master’s in healthcare administration in April from the University of Phoenix.

Q: What attracted you to MRHC and what are you most looking forward to about working here?

Shannon: I was drawn to MRHC because of its reputation of being a great place to work and providing outstanding patient care. The more I learned about MRHC, I was drawn to the cultural beliefs and mission as they align with my own core values and leadership style. My first week has been wonderful. I’ve felt welcomed and I am looking forward to building relationships with this team and working together to achieve our goals. I’m eager to dig in and get to work as well as meet members of the communities MRHC serves.

Q: What are your main goals as the CEO of MRHC?

Shannon: As the CEO of MHRC, my goals are to continue to advocate for our hospital and rural healthcare in general; to provide quality care; and to remain viable for generations to come. I also aim to look for ways to grow in the areas the community needs us the most.

Q: Family Composition:

Shannon: My husband, Chad, and I have four children, Gwen (23) who is a graduate of Iowa State and now lives in Nevada; Nate (20) a sophomore at Grand View University studying Kinesiology and on the track team; Nick (14) in 8th grade; and Grace (10) in 5th grade both at Greene County Middle School.

Q: Where are you from and where do you live currently?

Shannon: I am a Jefferson-Scranton graduate and currently reside outside of Jefferson, which also happens to be my hometown.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

Shannon: I have been the head cheerleading coach at Greene County for seven years, I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, riding my bike with friends, attending concerts, and attending my children’s events with my husband.

Q: How are you involved in your community?

Shannon: I have been very involved in my community over the years, serving on several committees and boards including Jefferson’s Bell Tower Festival Steering Committee, and serving as a city councilwoman for eight years.

Family Practice Clinic Receives Patient Experience Award

clinic staff

Manning Regional Healthcare Center is proud to announce that their Family Practice Clinic has received The Guardian of Excellence-Patient Experience Award. This award honors healthcare facilities who have consistently reached the top (95th to 99th percentile) of their respective database for patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement, consumer experience, or clinical quality performance.

“It is an honor to receive the Guardian of Excellence for Patient Experience Award from Press Ganey,” said MRHC Clinic Director, Shelby Dickson, RN. “Our team works hard to provide exceptional care by going above and beyond for our patients. They truly love what they do and who they work with.”

MRHC’s Family Practice Clinic is staffed by four providers, Dr. Douglas McLaws, DO; Dr. Thang Luong, MD; Courtney Rupiper, PA-C; and Sara Powers, ARNP; Clinic Director Shelby Dickson, RN; Health Coach, Amber Croghan; clinic nurses, Katelyn Namanny; Amanda Blum; Casey Quandt; and Roxi Doyel; medical records, Sharon Odendahl; and scheduler, Janey Stoelk.

Clinic staff were recognized for their dedication and hard work and presented with the award on Friday, February 16th with a hospital-wide reception.

The clinic offers extended hours Monday through Thursday 7am-6:30pm and Friday 7am-5pm and Saturday morning 8am-10am to accommodate busy schedules. Same day appointments for minor injuries or illnesses are also available for minor injuries and illnesses. Appointments can be made by calling (712) 655-8100.

clinic staff

Jill Arp Makes Community-Wide Impact

Jill Arp

At MRHC, one healthcare professional stands out for her dedication, versatility, and commitment to the well-being of both patients and the community. Jill Arp is a nurse whose journey into healthcare began with a passion for caring for others during college as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Today, she wears multiple hats at MRHC, demonstrating resilience and adaptability, especially during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I worked as a CNA in college, I enjoyed taking care of people and getting to know them. At that point, I changed my college major from elementary education to nursing,” shared Arp, RN, BSN. A pivotal decision that would set the stage for a fulfilling career dedicated to serving others’ health needs.

As the Infection Preventionist, Employee Health Nurse, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, and Safety and Security Officer, Arp has no shortage of responsibilities at MRHC. Additionally, being a nurse allows her to contribute directly to patient care in different departments as needed. Her work in these pivotal roles not only makes a difference in ensuring patient and staff health and safety, but she also makes a difference community-wide.

“Jill is a compassionate nurse who views patient care on a community level, offering important services to our local businesses to help keep their employees well,” said Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN. “Jill’s community leadership in her infection control role was especially instrumental throughout the recent pandemic.”

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for healthcare institutions worldwide, and MRHC was no exception. Arp played a crucial role in guiding MRHC’s response to the pandemic, collaborating with state and local authorities, and ensuring the safety of both patients and staff. Her efforts included extensive education, coordination of vaccination clinics, and participation in regional healthcare coalitions, highlighting her leadership and dedication during times of crisis.

“The pandemic was very challenging; it was like nothing I’ve ever had to deal with before,” Arp reflected. “There was a lot of collaboration with many different people. We experienced so much change, and our staff accepted it all with grace. They were all willing to help other departments, do different jobs, and step out of their comfort zones. Not only during the pandemic, but on a daily basis. I am proud of our staff and how they took care of our patients and found ways to make it all work.”

Collaborative efforts among Arp and other healthcare partners have continued to be instrumental in addressing community health needs. Arp works with Carroll County Public Health on various initiatives to address public health challenges, particularly in promoting preventive measures like flu vaccinations and regular health check-ups.

Arp attributes her ability to thrive in such a busy and demanding role to the supportive and flexibile work environment of MRHC. This allows her to balance her professional responsibilities with her family commitments, showcasing MRHC’s commitment to employee well-being.

“MRHC is a fun and great place to work, especially because of who is part of our team. From the environmental services staff to the doctors, everyone works well together for the best care of the patient,” said Arp. “MRHC is also flexible, and that’s what I need for my family.”

Through collaboration, flexibility, and a shared commitment to excellence, Arp and her colleagues at MRHC continue to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Manning and its surrounding communities. If you are interested in joining this team of healthcare professionals and helping make a difference in the community, visit or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.

Manning Regional Healthcare Center Names Shannon Black as New CEO

Shannon Black

Shannon BlackManning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC), an affiliate of MercyOne, announced on Thursday that Shannon Black has accepted the MRHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position. She will begin her role on February 19.

Black has extensive experience in various health care leadership roles, most recently serving in the Unity Point Clinics system as Clinic Administrator in Waukee and Jefferson. Throughout her 20 years in the health care industry, she has worked to improve patient access, promote team engagement and increase patient experience.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from Walden University. In April 2024, she will complete a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix.

Outside of work, Black is married to Chad, and they have four children. She enjoys spending time outdoors, bike riding and attending her children’s activities. She is also the head cheerleading coach at Greene County Community School District and has served as a city council member in Jefferson.

“We are delighted to welcome Shannon to the Manning Regional Healthcare Center family as our new CEO. Her proven track record in health care leadership, coupled with her deep passion for patient-centered care, make her the perfect fit to lead us forward while delivering on our promise to provide excellent health care for our entire community,” said Bret Richards, MRHC Board of Trustees Chairman.

“I also express my sincerest appreciation to the MRHC team, including Alana Monson, for her work as interim CEO while we completed the CEO search. Your continued commitment and resilience during this transition have been truly remarkable.”

Manning Regional Healthcare Center, a 17-bed facility federally designated critical access hospital (CAH), is a trusted local provider of high-quality healthcare to the residents of Manning, Manilla, Irwin, Kirkman, and the four-county area of Carroll, Crawford, Shelby, and Audubon counties in Iowa.

About MercyOne

MercyOne is a connected system of health care facilities and services dedicated to helping people and communities live their best life. MercyOne’s care providers and staff make health the highest priority. The system’s clinics, medical centers, hospitals and affiliates are located throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Headquartered in central Iowa, MercyOne is a member of Trinity Health (based in Livonia, Michigan) – one of the largest not-for-profit Catholic health care systems in the nation. Learn more at

CEO Linn Block Attributes Staff & Community for MRHC’s Success

Linn block

Linn blockOver the past few years, our collective journey at MRHC has been nothing short of transformative. United by a shared commitment to patient safety, quality care, and team engagement, we have implemented a strategic plan that not only elevated healthcare standards but also garnered attention and respect from the broader healthcare community.

At the heart of MRHC lies its people – our exceptional staff, providers, and the communities we serve. Your unwavering dedication to our shared mission has resulted in numerous notable accomplishments in patient care, expanded service offerings, and financial resilience. This is a collective achievement, and I take immense pride in being a part of this remarkable team.

I want to express heartfelt acknowledgment for the extraordinary resilience and strength demonstrated by our community in the face of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. These past couple of years have tested us in unexpected ways, and yet, together, we navigated uncertainties and overcame obstacles. Your commitment to safety protocols, mutual support, and unwavering trust in our healthcare team has been truly inspiring.

The way our community rallied during these trying times exemplifies the true spirit of unity and reinforces the vital role that rural healthcare plays in times of crisis. Your collective efforts not only safeguarded the health and well-being of our community members but also showcased the resilience that defines the heart of Manning Regional Healthcare Center.

Our ongoing community engagement initiatives, from local partnerships to the implementation of a new electronic health record system in collaboration with St. Anthony Regional Hospital, have further strengthened the bonds between MRHC and the communities we are privileged to serve.

The success of our capital campaign, raising nearly $1 million for the obstetrics wing’s renovation, and the recognition with the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for Employee Engagement underscore the incredible teamwork and passion that define MRHC. Your dedication has made our hospital a beacon of excellence in the face of financial challenges and changing landscapes in rural healthcare.

As I transition to the next chapter in my career, I carry with me the valuable lessons and memories from MRHC. The growth of our specialty clinics, the addition of same-day appointments, and the success of the substance abuse recovery center are all reflections of your hard work and dedication.

To our exceptional team, thank you for making MRHC not just a hospital but a family that cares for one another and for our community. To our patients, thank you for entrusting us with your healthcare needs. Your trust is our greatest honor, and we remain committed to providing you with the highest quality of care. The journey ahead for MRHC is exciting, and I am confident that, with your continued dedication, MRHC will continue to thrive and be a beacon of healthcare excellence in rural Iowa.

-Linn Block

Building Healthier Communities Throughout Iowa

career camp

*Adapted from article by Richard C. Lewis with the University of Iowa.

It was a grisly scene. A 24-year-old male riding without a helmet had crashed his bicycle into a parked car. The man lay unconscious on the pavement, his right leg splayed at an unnatural angle. And his rescue hinged on a group of untrained adolescents. students in the ambulance station of the health care career camp

Although they were participating in a simulation, the students took their responsibilities seriously. Each sprang into action to attend the wounded individual—a life-sized mannequin—guided by professional EMT personnel. Tatum, an eighth grader who goes to school in Manning,  gently took the head and held it steady while a fellow eighth grade student, Audrey, cut the pants from the man’s wounded leg and applied a vacuum sling to immobilize the limb. They and three others then lifted the patient in unison onto a stretcher and securely loaded him into the ambulance.

The rescue scene was one of several scenarios staged at the Health Care Career Camp this fall in Manning, where middle and high school students from school districts in Manning and Coon Rapids learned about potential careers in the medical and health care fields. The students rotated among several stations, learning what happens on the front lines of the 17-bed critical-access hospital, which serves patients in Carroll and three surrounding counties in west-central Iowa. It was the fourth time MRHC had hosted the camp.

ER station at healthcare career camp
At the emergency room station, the students intubated a mannequin, their eyes wide as they watched on an overhead screen their progress in guiding a breathing tube into a trachea. At the laboratory stop, they practiced drawing blood; at the surgical and anesthesia center, they took turns stitching a wound and using a bone saw; in radiology, they looked awestruck at X-rays of children with broken arm and leg bones and a little boy who had swallowed a quarter; at the physical therapy unit, they learned balance techniques and how to use electric stimulation to help patients regain muscle function, among other activities. student learning to saw through cast

“What makes a difference is the dedication of the people who work here; they show the next generation all the great employment choices that exist here,” says Michelle Andersen, chief nursing officer at MRHC who conceived the idea for the career camp.

The whirlwind tour made an impression on Audrey, who attends school at IKM-Manning, and says she wasn’t sure what to expect—other than getting out of school for the day.

“It has changed the way I thought health care would be,” she says, adding the tour presented a far different picture of a hospital setting than television shows like Grey’s Anatomy. “It’s not always that people are stressed out. There are personal connections with patients, personal connections with your co-workers. It’s more of a people-based job.”

Summer, a sophomore at Coon Rapids High School, was in the same group as Audrey. She says she’s been interested in health and medicine since she was a child when she regularly accompanied her grandfather to the hospital for his cancer treatment appointments.

“I just like the idea of helping people and trying to make people feel better,” Summer says.

The tour not only solidified Summer’s interest in health care and medicine, it seemed to crystallize her desire to become a nurse anesthetist—and, hopefully, to work at a smaller hospital, such as MRHC.

“I would like to keep it close to home,” she says, “because I’m planning on having a family. I grew up around here, and I’d like my kids to also grow up around here.”

The Health Care Career Camp, organized by staff at MRHC, was funded in part by the Business Leadership Network, an initiative from the University of Iowa College of Public Health to promote and empower health and wellness in communities throughout Iowa.

Since launching in 2011, the BLN has coordinated 44 health and wellness efforts in 38 small to mid-sized communities in Iowa. With funding from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for the past eight years, the BLN teams up with local businesses and civic and nonprofit agencies. The focus varies, depending on each community’s need. The BLN has spearheaded community public health initiatives that address a broad range of needs with particular emphasis on issues of concern in rural areas, including aging, agricultural health and safety, cyberbullying, immunizations, nutrition and physical activity, substance use, and mental health, among many others.

The goal, explains Edith Parker, dean of the College of Public Health, is to match the college’s resources and expertise with each community’s identified priority. “In public health, it’s critical to listen to local voices and engage communities in health solutions,” Parker says. “When we meet communities where they are and bring resources to support local priorities, there’s a much better chance of improving health outcomes.”

*Click here to read the full article.

Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic & Fall Prevention Screening at MRHC

MRHC exterior

Still need a flu shot? MRHC will be hosting a walk-in flu shot clinic on Saturday, October 14th from 8-11am at MRHC in Manning.

The cost is $30 or can be billed to insurance. No appointments are necessary. Those who would like to get a flu shot sooner can schedule an appointment in the clinic by calling (712) 655-8100.

“Getting the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others during flu season, so we encourage anyone six months and older to get their flu shot,” said MRHC Infection Prevention and Employee Health Nurse, Jill Arp, RN, BSN.

Local businesses that are interested in having MRHC administer flu shots to their employees should reach out to Arp at (712) 655-8170 or email

Fall Prevention Screening

The MRHC Physical Therapy department will also be hosting a fall prevention screening on Saturday October 14th from 8-11am. Anyone who has concerns of falling, has fallen in the past, is fearful of falling, or is using a device to prevent falls is encouraged to attend.

“We will spend time interviewing individuals about their fall history followed by evidence-based tests that are predictive of fall risk,” said MRHC Therapy Director, Taylor Nelson, DPT.

Based on the results of the tests, participants will work with a physical therapist to determine appropriate next steps to reduce their fall risk with physical therapy treatment and schedule follow-up appointments. Attendees can anticipate this initial consultation to take 15-20 minutes.

Physical therapy for fall prevention is covered by Medicare and referrals are not needed. Call (712) 655-8298 to find out more or schedule an appointment.

Kathy Freese Receives DAISY Award

Kathy Freese

Kathy FreeseKathy Freese, a registered nurse who works in the medical/surgical department, emergency room, and Recovery Center at MRHC as recently recognized for her exceptional role as a nurse and awarded the 2023 DAISY Award.

Freese’s excellent care as a nurse has never gone unnoticed – several patients nominated Kathy for the DAISY Award, sharing their praises about the great care she provides.

“Andrew and I could never thank you enough for all you did for us. You were a Godsend,” shared one patient. Another added that Kathy “is always kind, smiley, and non-judgmental. You could tell she really cares!!”

These testimonials, among many others, made Freese the perfect recipient for the 2023 DAISY Award, a program that honors and celebrates the skillful and compassionate care nurses provide every day. DAISY Award Honorees are recognized within their department, receive an award certificate, and are publicly recognized. Freese was surprised with the award by her co-workers and family on Wednesday, July 28th.

“Kathy is an empathic nurse who always puts her patients at the center of her nursing practice,” said Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN. “Thank you, Kathy for taking extraordinary care of those we serve!”

About the DAISY Award

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the autoimmune disease, ITP, in 1999.

During his hospitalization, the Barnes family deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way. More than 2,500 health care facilities in 15 countries and 50 states now honor extraordinary nurses with The DAISY Award.


All nurses who exemplify MRHC’s mission and values and demonstrate our vision daily are eligible to be nominated. DAISY Award honorees are nurses who provide compassionate and remarkable care while demonstrating clinical excellence. Anyone, including patients, patients’ family members, staff members, physicians, visitors, and volunteers, are welcome to nominate any nurse whom they believe is deserving of the award.

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!”