Category: Our Services

It’s that time of year again, Medicare Open Enrollment, the only time that those eligible for Medicare have the opportunity to review and adjust their plans. Open Enrollment takes place from October 15 to December 7, and The Family Resource Center is taking appointments for seniors to meet with SHIIP representatives who offer advice in choosing the best fitting prescription plan and to answer questions. Because drug plans are everchanging, having a guide to help you navigate these changes can be very helpful. 

This is Jim Solomon’s fifth year volunteering as a SHIIP counselor. Last year, he met with 176 people, helping them save a total of $156,862. We are pleased to announce that Deb Hogan has completed training and will be joining Jim to serve area seniors in reviewing their plans. Jim will mentor and work directly with Deb and the client when she is first starting.  Deb  retired from the insurance industry, and wants to give back as a volunteer. “Jim put in long hours last year, and I am happy to partner with him and work together to serve the communities.” Deb replied. 

Kari Harbaugh, Family Resource Coordinator, says, “We are very grateful for the dedication and hours of service these volunteers donate to assisting our clients.”

There is no charge for consultation with Jim or Deb. If they don’t have the answer, SHIIP counselors have a direct connection to the state to get the answer. They offer a flexible schedule, and welcome clients from other communities, too. 

SHIIP counselors will assist you with these three important things during Medicare Open Enrollmnent:

  • Review  your plan notice. Read any notices from  your Medicare plan about changes for next year—especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.
  • Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?
  • Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year. 

To make an appointment, call the Family Resource Center at 563-252-3215. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa. SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company. Please bring your Medicare card and your present list of prescription drugs to your appointment.

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.

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is pleased to announce a collaboration with WELL Health Inc. to implement automated appointment reminders through secure two-way, multilingual messaging in the patient’s preferred communications channel: texting or telephone.

If GMHC has your cell phone or home phone in its system, patients will receive automated appointment reminders seven days, two days and one day before their appointments. Patients have an opportunity to respond or to opt-out of this service.

“It is our hopes that this two-way communication will help improve our patient’s experience throughout their care at GMHC,” said Danelle Krapfl, Lab and Imaging Manager.

This new service will begin on October 5, 2021.

 

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is pleased to announce a new partnership with Edgewood-Colesburg School District for Athletic Training services.  

Sydney Pirillo, Physical Therapy Assistant and Athletic Trainer at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is contracted for athletic training services two hours per week, and at home games as her schedule allows.

“The Edgewood-Colesburg School District has been looking for ways to provide athletic training services to our coaches and athletes for years.  One of the challenges has been finding the right partnership to meet the needs of the district. We believe that the partnership with the Guttenberg Municipal Hospitals & Clinics will provide the needed services for students and additional training for coaches.  We see this as an opportunity not only to help students recover faster from injuries but also to prevent injuries in the first place.” said Rob Busch, Edgewood-Colesburg CSD Superintendent. 

In her role as Athletic Trainer, Sydney works with student athletes to keep them healthy and strong. She typically sees 5 to 10 athletes per week during her time at school, as well as checks in with coaches and parents if additional communication is needed about an athlete’s injury. She recommends strengthening and stretching exercises, wrapping/taping techniques and other conservative techniques to both athletes and their coaches.

“My number one goal is to work with student-athletes and coaches to prevent injuries,” said Sydney. “All athletes are encouraged to report injuries when they occur, big or small, to prevent the injury from worsening in severity and to help resolve the issue in a timely manner. When injuries are not able to be prevented, my goal is to get the athlete back on the playing field as quickly and safely as possible, keep them in school, and reduce the risk of long term affects. I know that dealing with an injury can be stressful and I work to ease this process by advocating for the athlete and collaborating with local physical therapist, chiropractors, and physicians to provide the best care. I am honored to be joining the Edgewood-Colesberg team and can’t wait to help student-athletes achieve their goals on and off the field.” 

Commented Alex Hanna, Activities Director, “We have loved having Syd in our building the last few weeks.  Her help diagnosing injuries, helping with exercises and treatment for our athletes, and keeping them accountable to their recovery has been invaluable.  In a school our size, keeping our student athletes healthy and doing what they love is more important than ever, so having a resource like her each week and at games is amazing for Ed-Co.  Syd has been very progressive with her outreach to our coaches and communication to keep them in the loop about what our athletes can and can’t do from week to week.  We have great support at Ed-Co from Administration and our Board, so their approval of this agreement should not come as a surprise.  We are very thankful that this partnership has been made and we hope that it will continue to grow in the future for the benefit of all of our athletic programs here at Ed-Co.”

On August 11, the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics Imaging Department performed its first MRI in the new Seimens MAGNETOM Altea Open Bore system.

“One of our first patients said that the brighter room and the lack of noise was a great improvement over our previous MRI,” said Karen Pressley, Radiologic Technologist. 

The new Altea has a wider bore opening and is equipped with Quiet Suite and Turbo Suite to reduce the noise during the scan and enable a reduction in exam times by using advanced accelerated imaging techniques. These new features will help to reduce patient stress, making the exam more comfortable for the patient. 

“The images are beautiful,” commented Dr. Joshua McDonald from Radiology Consultants of Iowa. “Allow me to commend GMHC leadership in bringing this great technology to the community of Guttenberg. This is a state of the art MRI unit and will definitely enhance the healthcare for Guttenberg and the surrounding communities. I consider it a great privilege to work with the GMHC Imaging staff and the patients of Guttenberg.”

MRI patients have been very pleased with the updated technology at GMHC.

“We had a patient who tried to have an MRI at another facility, and was told that he wouldn’t fit. When he came here, he fit without any problems,” said Terri Koopmann, Imaging Coordinator. “Other patients are claustrophobic but have no issues with our new MRI. We are pleased to improve our patient’s MRI experience with reduced noise, a wider opening and advanced accelerated imaging techniques.”

The Family Resource Center’s SHIIP Program was selected to receive a Governor’s Volunteer Award for outstanding commitment and service.

A virtual ceremony for the Governor’s Volunteer Award recognition was held on July 14th, and was attended by SHIIP Counselor Jim Solomon and Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh.

The ceremony lasted 45 minutes and included remarks from Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, and service leaders across Iowa. Awards were presented for six regions across the state: Central, Northeast, East-Central, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest Iowa. The presentation of awards occurred by region, followed by short remarks from regional service leaders.

The dedication of volunteer SHIIP Counselor Jim Solomon made the award possible. Jim was honored for giving the precious gift of his time to meet essential needs of those he serves, and thanked for his dedication and for contributing his talent to enrich Iowa.

Jim Solomon is entering his fourth year volunteering to assist local residents to save money. In Jim’s third year of volunteering he helped 218 clients save a total of $127,448 by comparing Medicare Part D plans. 

“We are so grateful for the time and talent that Jim has donated to assisting others,” Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh added. “Jim is a great asset to our community. He made this recognition possible.”

As a SHIIP Counselor, Jim will assist you with these three important things during Medicare open enrollment:

● Review your plan notice. Read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year – especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.

● Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?

● Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year.

To make an appointment with Jim, call the Family Resource Center 563-252-3215. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa.  SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company. Please bring your Medicare card and your present list of prescription drugs to your appointment.

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