Category: Our Staff

As part of National Rural Health Day, Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics today announced it has been recognized with a 2023 Performance Leadership Award for excellence in Patient Perspective. Compiled by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, the Performance Leadership Awards honor top quartile performance (i.e., 75th percentile or above) among rural hospitals in Quality, Outcomes and/or Patient Perspective.

“We continue to receive awards for the care our patients experience here at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics. This speaks volumes to the quality of professional staff on our team. We couldn’t be more proud to be here for the communities we serve,” said Tim Ahlers, FACHE, CEO.

The Performance Leadership Awards are based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. INDEX data is relied upon by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations and state offices of rural health around the country to measure and monitor performance across several areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

“Wherever we go in rural America, we witness first-hand the commitment, determination, and compassion with which rural hospitals serve their communities. Rural healthcare truly is mission-driven,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “This National Rural Health Day, let us recognize the efforts of this year’s Performance Leadership Award winners and all those driven to deliver high quality care throughout rural communities.”

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics (GMHC) has been a committed member of the Guttenberg community since its founding more than 60 years ago. A Critical Access Hospital, licensed to deliver acute, skilled, observation and hospice inpatient care, the 25-bed hospital offers a wide range of services to help the community live healthier. GMHC provides primary medical care for patients of all ages through Cornerstone Family Practice with clinics in Guttenberg, Edgewood and Garnavillo. GMHC operates the community ambulance service and supports area trauma care via a state-certified Level IV Community Trauma Center. The Family Resource Center is an extension of GMHC and offers a variety of services to increase access to health and human services for families.

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is proud to announce that two of its physicians, Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Jeffrey Hoffmann, were honored by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians last Friday, October 28, 2022, at the IAFP Awards Banquet in Des Moines. 

DR. ANDREW SMITH, MD

Dr. Andrew Smith, MD, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP)

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to a family physician(s) who has been a member of the Academy in good standing for at least 10 years, who is a resident of Iowa, who has been involved in significant community service and civic activities, and is a role model for other family physicians, residents and /or medical students.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is unique in that all awardees are nominated by another member of the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians. 

“After Dr. Smith finished his Family Practice Residency in Waterloo, he settled in Guttenberg. He provided full-spectrum family practice care, seeing patients of all ages, providing obstetrics care, caring for inpatients, and covering the Emergency Room. Throughout his 39 years in Guttenberg, he was highly respected not only for his excellent medical care, but for his compassion, dedication to service and humility. He not only was GMHC’s Chief of Medical Staff for numerous terms, but was on many hospital committees, served as Clayton County’s Deputy Medical Examiner and a preceptor for medical students for the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine,” commented a colleague of Dr. Smith’s. 

“Dr. Smith is also very active in the community. He is an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and director of the hand bell choir, has been on a number of philanthropic foundations and has donated many hours to the Guttenberg German- Fest committee. He truly is admired by many and certainly deserves the IAFP Lifetime Achievement Award.” 

DR. JEFFREY HOFFMANN, DO

Dr. Jeffrey Hoffmann, DO, was awarded the Family Physician of the Year by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP). 

The Family Physician of the Year is a special award because the nominations must come from patients. The prestigious award is presented to one outstanding physician in the state who best exemplifies the tradition of the family doctor and who epitomizes the finest standards of family health care. As the Iowa Family Physician of the Year, Dr. Hoffmann will become Iowa’s nominee to the American Academy of Family Physicians for the 2023 National Family Physician of the Year. 

As family physicians, Dr. Hoffmann and his colleagues are trained in many areas of medicine including pediatrics, geriatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, and community medicine. This gives them capability to treat more than 85 percent of all illnesses found in children and adults. 

“Bedside manner, wit and ability to empathize are Dr. Hoffmann’s qualities that put his patients at ease. His ability to communicate and his approachable demeanor are qualities that set him apart. Many physicians can be considered experts in their field, however Dr. Hoffmann couples expertise with the ability to communicate complicated diagnoses on a level his patients can understand,” shared one patient.

Another patient shared this heartfelt comment, “Dr. Hoffmann has not just been a physician to us, but a true blessing in every way. He has saved my family in more ways than one, given us a shoulder to cry on, words of faith and wisdom to hold on to when we felt like we had nothing to grasp, and most importantly, shown us actual love. He loves his community and the gifts and career he was blessed with. He loves his patients and staff. I believe if there is any physician out there who deserves this award, it is him. His career as a doctor is not just something he does for a living, but something he does with pure and unending love to help others. This award is for a Family Physician of the Year, and Dr. Hoffmann is everything this entails, starting with the word Family. He makes his patients more than a case or people to heal, he makes them his family.”

The Iowa Academy of Family Physicians has 1800 members and is a constituent chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which is one of the largest medical specialty societies in the United States with a membership of more than 127,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students.

Today, Dr. Michele Dikkers accepted her Hospital Hero Award at the Iowa Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting in Des Moines. She was one of twelve hospital leaders, throughout the state of Iowa, presented with the award.

“We are so fortunate to have a high quality, compassionate medical staff at GMHC and Dr. Dikkers has provided an amazing level of support to all of us through the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Lisa Manson, Director of Ambulatory Services, “She is a role model for what patient-centered care looks like in a rural hospital and clinic.” 

Dr. Michele Dikkers, DO, has practiced medicine at Cornerstone Family Practice for over 20 years, where she recently became the Physician Leader. She immerses herself in her workplace, her community and her profession. As an advocate for the well-being of her patients and the population in general, when she sees a need, she takes personal responsibility and becomes involved. Serving as Chair of the Clayton County Board of Health, Dr. Dikkers provides perspective and insight on decision-making. She is an incredibly caring, resourceful and integral part of GMHC. 

“My practice partner, Dr. Michele Dikkers, has been at the forefront in leading our community’s and county’s responses to the COVID pandemic. As Chairman of the County Board of Health, she not only advised but educated many in the county about best practices… She also wrote a weekly column in our local paper to discuss COVID guidelines and encourage community members to be safe and respectful to others,” confirmed Dr. Andrew Smith. 

Brooke Kenzinger, MHA, CEO, MercyOne Elkader Medical Center, served with Dr. Dikkers on a team that met weekly at the height of the pandemic to share best practices and plan for the future. “In addition to helping the county fight COVID-19, she also helped many of her own patients battle the illness in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a hero to those patients. Even though I do not interact with her at my facility, I would trust her with my own family…She has the passion for providing excellent care to those she serves,” added Kenzinger. 

Dr. Dikkers commented, “I am over-whelmed. It is an honor to be recognized, and this is an award I would like to share with all those whom I work with. 

During the pandemic, we found ourselves in a situation where there were many unknowns and many times, the only option was to do what was in front of us. 

We were able to form a collaboration with the health care providers and pharmacies of Clayton county that was truly amazing. Everyone jumped on board for the good of our patients and the community. The staffs at the clinics and hospitals were incredible. We cross-trained between departments in preparation and many worked extra hours when case numbers were high. Concern for the patients and their families was always a priority. There were days that weren’t easy. But, the positive, ‘get it done’ attitude of those I worked with, kept me motivated to do what I could. There were weekly meetings, usually 2 or 3, that allowed us to learn and share information with each other. The learning curve during the COVID pandemic was overwhelming at times, but we learned a great deal.” 

Tim Ahlers said of Dr. Dikkers, “She showed initiative and courage while leading us through the pandemic, working tirelessly with our incident command and the board of health to make sure we were ready and able to take care of our community and each other through the long, hard journey. I believe she is one of the true champions that helped our community make it through this crisis.” 

“I would like to thank those that nominated me and The Iowa Hospital Association for the recognition. I would also like to thank my colleagues at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, Cornerstone Family Practice and the Clayton County Board of Health,” said Dr. Dikkers 

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics was recently named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals (CAHs) for Best Practice—Patient Satisfaction in the country. 

The top 20 CAHs, including GMHC, scored best among CAHs as determined by the Chartis Center for Rural Health for Patient Satisfaction. The rankings were recently announced by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). An awards ceremony will be held during NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital Conference in September in Kansas City, MO. 

The top 20 CAHs have achieved success in overall performance based on a composite rating from eight indices of strength:  inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge and finance. This group was selected from the Chartis Center for Rural Health’s 2022 top 100 CAH list, which was released earlier this year. 

The top 20 CAH best practice recipients have achieved success in one of two key areas of performance:  

Quality index:  A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across rural-relevant process of care measures.

Patient perspective index:  A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across all 10 HCAHPS domains. 

“GMHC is proud of the efforts of the physicians and staff who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” says Timothy Ahlers, CEO. “We are incredibly proud of our staff. We are blessed to have a team of professionals with high standards who care deeply about each and every patient and our entire community.”

“Our results as a top Best Practice Recipient in Patient Satisfaction means our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future,” said Ahlers.

About NRHA

NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA’s membership is made up of diverse individuals and organizations from across the country, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health. 

About the Chartis Group

The Chartis Group provides comprehensive advisory services and analytics to the health care industry. With unparalleled depth of expertise in strategic planning, performance excellence, health analytics, informatics and technology, digital and emerging technologies, clinical quality and operations, and strategic communications, Chartis helps leading academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, children’s hospitals, and health care service organizations achieve transformative results and build a healthier world. For more information, visit www.chartis.com.

We congratulate Physical Therapist Kimberly Franzen, PT, DPT, CLT on her recent certification as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT). 

Kim’s certification included 135 hours total with 75 hours of online work and 60 hours of in-person class and hands-on work. Kim was in Minneapolis for the class from October 13th to the 20th for the in-person class, but all online class work was completed prior to attending. Both a written test and hands-on practical was passed for the certification. 

What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is known as an abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid that can occur gradually over time with increasing complaints of tightness or heaviness. Lymphedema increases one’s risk of infection or cellulitis. Typically lymphedema affects only one arm or leg, but can affect both as more commonly seen in the legs.

The certification consisted of learning the full CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy) which includes not only performing manual lymph drainage (MLD) to reduce the amount of fluid accumulation, but performing and teaching/educating the patient on application of compression bandages or garments, exercise, nail & skin care, and other self-cares to assist with overall management of their condition.

Kim is now able to treat our patients who have lymphedema, lipidemia, or lymphedema which can occur due to other medial issues such as obesity, chronic venous insufficiency, lipo-lymphedema, or after a trauma or orthopedic surgery.

“Most people have not heard of or know much about lymphedema until they have been diagnosed with it,” said Kim. “I’m pleased to be able to offer this service to our patients who are diagnosed with this condition.”

Stay close to home, and receive your therapy and rehabilitation services with the experts at GMHC. For more information call 563-252-1121.

Robin Esmann, Director of Performance Excellence at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics, was recently selected as one of the Iowa Hospital Association’s (IHA) Hospital Heroes.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to announce our Director of Performance Excellence, Robin Esmann, was named a hospital hero. Robin’s knowledge and expertise coupled with her compassion and commitment to our community absolutely make her a hero to us,” said Tim Ahlers, CEO. 

“Over the past year, Robin has worn many leadership hats including Nursing, Incident Command, Employee Health, Infection Control, Safety, Quality, and she is an EMS member” reflected Lisa Manson, Director of Ambulatory Services. “Robin’s training in quality processes was apparent during the past year. She never settles for just good enough.”

Robin took responsibility for spearheading the COVID-19 vaccination process in the community. She worked closely with county and state officials to procure an appropriate supply of vaccine. Robin also secured a site for the vaccination clinic that was close to the hospital. After establishing a call-in hotline, Robin and several volunteers began contacting thousands of people to make appointments. In addition, Robin took a clinic on the road to reach local manufacturing firms interested in vaccinations for their employees. She was relentless in assuring that everyone who was eligible and desired to be vaccinated could be accommodated. 

“Jim and I had the pleasure of working alongside Robin at most of the vaccination clinics,” said Sue Osterhaus, vaccination clinic volunteer. “In the face of an incredibly stressful pandemic, Robin acted with strength and integrity every day as she managed the clinics and answered countless emails, calls, and questions regarding the vaccinations.”

Commented Robin, “I am honored to not only be nominated for this award by my colleagues but to also be chosen for this award by the Iowa Hospital Association.  There is no doubt that this past year has been the most challenging of my career. I never imagined having to live through a pandemic and certainly not one of this magnitude.  Fortunately, we have a great team at GMHC and that team is still working tirelessly day in and day out to get us through this pandemic. I’m very proud of the work we do and all that we accomplish; everyone at GMHC plays a very important role on the team.”

“Robin has been a nurse for more than 30 years and has been dedicated to our organization and our community,” commented Tim Ahlers. “She has worked in many settings throughout the hospital as a bedside nurse, a quality expert and a leader, excelling in every role. Robin’s knowledge of infectious disease and her courage to lead us through the pandemic is inspiring. Her commitment to our community is heroic. Robin is kind. She is a collaborator. She is courageous. And she is a true leader.”

Since 2007, IHA’s Hospital Heroes program has celebrated employees who have acted courageously in a moment’s crisis or who have selflessly served their hospitals and communities throughout their careers. Last year, IHA recognized all hospital employees for their heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to the derecho windstorm in August 2020. In 2021, IHA returned to recognizing 10 hospital employees who exemplify the passion and purpose of the community hospital mission every day.

Robin will be recognized at the IHA Virtual Annual Meeting in October.

>
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.