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Multi-million dollar expansion for Siouxland medical center

As the shovels break ground for the first time at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, a 26 million dollar two-year addition is set in motion, bringing about the change that CEO Rob Colerick says they need to stay competitive.

"Healthcare is changing. It’s important for us to keep up with that change, and also make sure that we’re here for the next future generations. We think this project will help us do that," Rob Colerick, BVRMC CEO said.

The project will add a new emergency room, entry way, and a whole second floor to the facility, which serves most of the communities in a 65-mile radius.

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Rural Iowa hospital courts urban patients

A small-town northern Iowa hospital hopes Des Moines-area residents seeking weight-loss surgery will drive 90 miles to undergo the procedure in its new operating rooms.

The Iowa Specialty Hospital in Belmond is partnering with a Des Moines surgeon to provide the operations, which reduce the size of patients’ stomachs so they can’t eat as much. The new business, called “Iowa Weight Loss Specialists,” is led by Dr. Todd Eibes, who worked at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines until earlier this year.

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Story County Medical Center Launches Capital Campaign

Story County Medical Center has taken its first step toward building a new clinic in Nevada with a recent $100,000 gift to kick-start the medical center’s capital campaign.

Since building a new hospital five years ago, Story Medical has been operating out of both a north and a south campus in Nevada. With the hospital in an “improved financial position,” Story Medical CEO Tim Ahlers said the hospital is ready to take steps toward combining all of its services into one campus by building a new primary care clinic next to the hospital on the south campus.

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Broadlawns Previews New Medical Office Building and New Services

Des Moines, Iowa – (May 29, 2014) – Broadlawns Medical Center will host an Open House, for the community, at our new location for Specialty Clinics and expanded Primary Care services on Thursday, May 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The 13,000 square-foot medical office building second floor will open for patient services on June 1, offering the community greater access to advanced specialty treatment and technology. The facility is a modern replacement for our Orthopaedics and the Foot and Ankle Clinics, as well as the expansion of our Primary Care services. We are also introducing two new clinics at this location - the Interventional Pain Center and Geriatric Medicine and Memory Center which add to our growing list of services.

“Broadlawns’ is pleased to be able to continue to implement our Site and Facilities Master Plan to modernize our facilities to better serve our Community.” said, Jody Jenner, President and CEO of Broadlawns.

We invite you to join us in celebration of our 90th birthday. See the new medical offices, meet our doctors and staff, get a tour of the new facilities and enjoy some refreshments at our Open House on Thursday, May 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Medical Office Building 1801 Hickman Road!

More information about the comprehensive outpatient medical services offered at Broadlawns Medical Center can be found at

Clarke County Hospital tops rural hospitals in U.S. for quality healthcare

Clarke County Hospital was named one of 20 U.S. critical access hospitals to receive national honors for best practices in quality.

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) designated hospitals based on Quality Index measures submitted to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and found Clarke County Hospital an exemplar of best practices in all critical access hospital healthcare.

“This honor proves we are amongst the country’s best,” said Brian Evans, chief executive officer at Clarke County Hospital. “Our mission is to provide excellent, compassionate and personalized care to the people of south central Iowa, and I am proud to back our mission with national recognitions regarding our quality care, as well as patient satisfaction.”

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Feb 5

LRH Recognized For Patient Safety

A local hospital is receiving some special recognition. Lakes Regional Healthcare has been awarded the Patient Safety Grand Prize by the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. The award will be presented at a statewide Patient Safety Conference March 12th.

The award recognizes healthcare providers and/or healthcare organizations for outstanding leadership and achievement in patient safety. It’s based on improving patient safety, reducing the risk of human harm and keeping patients at the center of care.

According to hospital records, Lakes Regional Healthcare had a readmission rate of 7.9 percent in 2012, compared to slightly more than six percent in 2013. The national avers in 2012 was 18.4 percent.

Officials with LRH say all readmissions are evaluated monthly by a special team that reviews the reason for readmission; if the readmission was preventalbe; the amount of time between hospitalizations; whether the patient had needs prior to discharge that were not addressed and discussions regarding trending and monitoring of readmissions.

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St. Luke’s Is One of Three Using New Technology

A Cedar Rapids hospital is using new technology to treat patients with heart rhythm problems.

Saint Luke’s is one of just three centers in the world to use electrophysiology catheters.

"My pulse averaged about a hundred all the time and normal is about 60,” Mike Strope.

For him, one procedure is all it took to get his rhythm back.

"I had no idea that they had this new procedure. I didn’t know it until I met with the doctor.

It all began last April.

Strope says he was constantly feeling tired even when he was resting.

After a trip to the E.R he learned he was suffering from atrial fibrillation, the number one cause of stroke.

"It’s when the top part of the heart, the Atrium starts to beat erratically. A lot of people have symptoms. Chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea,” said St. Luke’s Electrophysiologist, Dr. Mohit Chawla.

"I felt like I was walking in a pool of water all the time. It just was exhausting to do anything,” said Strope.

Luckily Doctor Mohit Chawla had come across new technology, a catheter that helps with burning the electrical pathway that causes atrial fibrillation.

"These catheters allow us to basically deliver the appropriate energy to basically disrupt that emo-circuit and basically fix the rhythm problem,” he said.

Chawla says the catheter makes it easier because it provides a clearer picture.

"It’s so much easier to tell that you’re delivering appropriate energy to the right spot. So what you’re doing is you’re saving time. You’re not burning in areas that you’ve already burned. You’re saving energy,” he said.

It’s all good news for Strope.

"98 percent of the time, my heart is in rhythm now,” said Strope.

The catheter is FDA approved but with a limited release in the United States.

To watch the video:

Potentially Life-Saving Devices Donated in Cedar Rapids

St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids has donated three automated external defibrillators to public areas in Linn County.
Officials say the new Cedar Rapids Public Library is getting two of the devices. The Linn County Fair is getting one.
The donations come from the hospital’s Heart Safe Community program, which has donated more than 70 defibrillators to public locations in the area since 2002.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) more than 383,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. CPR and early defibrillation with an AED more than doubles a victim’s chance of survival.
In 2002, St. Luke’s says it donated 20 AEDs to some of Cedar Rapids’ largest public facilities. In 2010, the hospital’s foundation donated 50 AEDs to the Cedar Rapids Police Department - so every squad car could be equipped with an AED.


Graham Customers Receive Patient Safety Awards

Hospitals Receive IHC Patient Safety Awards

The 2014 Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) Patient Safety Awards were recently announced and will be featured at IHC Patient Safety Conference on March 12 at The Meadows Events & Conference Center in Altoona (see following article).

Outstanding work in care transitions by Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) in Spirit Lake garnered the Patient Safety Grand Prize award.  LRH improved the safety and care transitions of patients by preventing readmissions as evidenced by a readmission rate of 7.9 percent in 2012 compared to 6.08 percent for 2013.  All readmissions are evaluated by the hospital’s utilization review nurse and admitting physician at the time of readmission.

All readmissions are evaluated monthly by a special team that reviews the reason for readmission and root cause, including if post-hospital services were utilized prior to readmission; if the readmission preventable; amount of time between hospitalizations; whether the patient had needs prior to discharge that were not addressed; and discussions regarding trending and monitoring of readmissions.

Three categorical award recipients were also announced:

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (BVRMC), Storm Lake (Leadership and Culture of Safety Award):  BVRMC has recognized that a strong culture of safety is essential to error prevention and reduction of harm and made significant progress in its quest for improvement of their culture of safety.  Examples of tactics implemented include: quarterly off-site leadership training via Leadership Development Institutes over the past 10 years and being accredited by The Joint Commission for more than 30 years while implementing all Joint Commission safety initiatives and goals; organization goal setting (with challenging metrics) related to both employee and patient safety; investing time and resources in the 14 Team STEPPS Master Trainers; and a tiered approach to staff education and training on security.



Graham Receives MBI’s 2013 Outstanding Company Safety Award

Master Builders of Iowa held their 2013 Safety Awards Luncheon on Tuesday December 17th, 2013 at their annual Safety and Environmental Conference. Each year MBI along with Iowa OSHA award the Outstanding Company Safety Award to a general contractor and a specialty contractor. MBI also presented two new awards this year for the Safety Professional of the Year and the Safety Champion of the year.

The Outstanding Company Safety Award for a general contractor this year was awarded to Graham Construction.  Graham was recognized by their peers in the construction industry for this prestigious award for several reasons. From December of 2007 to today, Graham has not had a lost time injury which represents over 1.1 million hours of work. Graham has also not had a recordable injury since July of 2012 which represents over 210,000 hours. Graham’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is 0.61 which is significantly lower than the national average of 1.0 and our Total Recordable Frequency Rate (TRFR) for 2013 is 0.0. These safety statistics rank Graham in the top 1% of contractors nationally.

In addition, Graham was recognized for its safety incentive program for their employees, their “fit for duty” pre-hiring program and their commitment to safety training. 100% of Graham’s employees in the field and the office have received their OSHA 10 Hour training certificate. All of their Superintendents and over 50% of their Foremen and office staff have received their OSHA 30 Hour training certificate. Also, over 60% of Graham’s site specific safety audits by MBI’s Construction Safety Specialists are clean audits meaning that no violations were found and no corrections were required by Graham or their subcontractors. Graham has also made a significant commitment to the Iowa Work Safe program developed by the IOSHA/MBI Alliance by registering 6 projects in the program.


Graham would like to thank the members of their safety committee, Dave Armantrout, Peggy Burow, Seth Elgin, Casey Hansen, Dave Hiveley, Tom Kouri, Ken McCormick, Henry Norman, Rich Richtsmeier, Tim Richtsmeier and Jason Wegner for their hard work and dedication. We especially want to thank all of our employees for making safety a “way of life” and committing to ensuring the safety of themselves and their co-workers every day. This award is recognition of their efforts and hard work.