Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Great Time Was Had By All

Last Thursday evening, I got to attend the Women's Health Focus with about 480 women from the area. Nearly 30 organizations and GRMC departments had educational displays and health information to learn more about all the great resources we have in our area. That’s me on the right side of the photo in the exhibit space.

My highlight of the night was listening to Peggy Kline, the keynote speaker. She was hilarious in her delivery of an important message. Women need to take the time to treat themselves well, like royalty, in order to do all the things women do for their families, friends, career, and more. Peggy’s the one wearing the robe and crown. I have to admit at first I was a little uncomfortable as the only male in the audience…but I soon found myself laughing and appreciating some of the challenges that women experience.

It was fun seeing so many people attend this great event. My special thanks to Jennifer Cogley and Shannon Reding for their leadership on this project, along with all the GRMC staff and Auxiliary.

Next year, we will have to find a larger place…I can’t wait.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good News!

With my job, there are ups and downs like most jobs. The last several months have been mostly ups as we are having some great success adding to our already strong medical staff. I actually really enjoy physician recruitment. It gives me a chance to brag about life in Grinnell and Poweshiek County and about the wonderful women and men that call GRMC “their” hospital. Frankly, it is not hard to talk about all the benefits of life in our community and usually if I can get some one to come take a look, they immediately get excited about the possibilities. Now we don’t make an offer to everyone that visits us. In fact, it often becomes apparent that some candidates are not “a good fit.” Occasionally we do find the perfect person who will bring their many years of training and education to our medical center. Of course it takes more than skills to compel us to make an offer; they also need the attitude of service and team approach to truly be the right fit.

I have great news to share regarding our physician recruitment and retention activities. First, let me focus on anesthesia and pain medicine. Early next month, Kevin Emge, DO, will join Ken Whipple, DO, in anesthesia. Both are very well trained and have wonderful personalities. Dr. Whipple has been here since August and has been an excellent addition to our medical staff. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Emge and working with Alex Anderson, CRNA, in a continuing role in this department. Alex has done a super job providing anesthesia services here and we hope to have her join us in a permanent role at GRMC.

Bojan Pavlovic, MD, started his pain management practice earlier this month and has already established himself as a first-rate physician with an attitude of service. Originally from Chicago, this Midwesterner is eager to bring our pain management program to new heights and we are very glad he is here.

I have some very exciting news regarding internal medicine. We have signed a long-term agreement with Christine Lindgren, DO and she will start in mid-January! Some of you will remember Dr. Lindgren when she spent the better part of a year as a medical student here with Dr. Doorenbos. After her residency in Des Moines at Iowa Methodist, she went to Marshalltown and has practiced there the past several years. The medical staff members involved in her recruitment are very pleased as she will be instrumental in rebuilding our internal medicine department.

We have another strong internal medicine candidate also interested in joining our medical staff. She has been here for one visit and we are working on a second visit including Dr. Lindgren. If this candidate proves to be a good fit, she would be available to begin here in August.

On a side note, we have come to an agreement with Mercy Medical Center to provide E-ICU (electronic intensive care unit) services to GRMC slated to begin in February. This service essentially provides critical care services to our ICU and ER with real-time video and electronic connection to patients. This will allow our physicians to have access to board-certified, critical care physicians for consultation and monitoring of patients. This service will be particularly beneficial at night and give our physicians some relief from what can be a vigorous call schedule. There will be much more information about the E-ICU in the near future, however I mention it at this time because it was very helpful in internal medicine recruitment.

We have one physician departure to report and that is Renee Kirk, DO has decided to leave GRMC and join the VA Hospital in Des Moines in emergency medicine. We thank Dr. Kirk for her many years of service here and wish her all the best in her new role. This change did open up a full-time ER position and James Dy, MD has signed an agreement with GRMC to fill that position. Dr. Dy is no stranger to our medical center and is excited to be back in a full-time role here in Grinnell. He plans to move to our community next month and get started in December.

You are also aware of the three new physician assistants we added over the past several months including: Sarah Feddersen, PA-C in urology, Jarrod Phelps, PA-C in general surgery, and Kristin Leonard, PA-C, in family practice. All three are excellent additions to our team and we welcome them all.

Finally, we have two orthopedic surgery candidates we are vetting with the Iowa Orthopaedic Center. In addition, Surgical Associates has a general surgery candidate they are making arrangements with to visit Grinnell in the near future.

All in all, it is a very exciting time for GRMC on the recruiting front and we are very pleased to be adding such outstanding physicians to our medical staff. If you have any questions or comments, as always, please feel free to contact me.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bringing the Farm to the Workplace

GRMC and Grinnell Heritage Farm were featured in a Des Moines Register article this week about our CSA program. (CSA stands for “community supported agriculture.)

Click here to read article

GRMC teamed up with Andrew and Melissa Dunham of Grinnell Heritage Farm to provide hospital employees with a weekly box of fresh vegetables from the farm for up to 17 weeks. While delivering CSA boxes to workplaces isn’t unique to GRMC, the fact that GRMC invested upfront in the CSA is new. In order for the farm to make plans for the growing season and pay for the costs associated with planting, shareholders need to pay in advance for the share. GRMC recognized that writing a check for $400 would likely be a barrier to many employees, so the medical center paid the upfront cost and allowed employees to pay us back through payroll deduction. By doing what we can to help employees focus on their health and wellness, GRMC has healthier employees and our health insurance usage has decreased.

I’ve enjoyed getting my weekly box this spring and summer. There have been several new things I have tried that I might not have picked up in the grocery store and things in the box that are simply not available through a retail store. As one of our employees said in the article, it is like having a garden without having to do the work. Our weekly share ended last week and I’ll have to get used to buying my produce in the grocery store again. I’m already looking forward to next year.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Never Too Young To Start Saving

I got to do something really cool today. I was able to be a part of a special presentation to a baby boy born at GRMC. Owen Blankenfeld, son of Cory and Alicia of Grinnell, was born at our hospital in August and he was selected at random to win a $1,000 college savings account as part of a giveaway program through the office of the State Treasurer of Iowa. While the giveaway program is for babies born at participating Iowa hospitals, anyone can start a college savings account through the Iowa 529 College Savings Program through the state. You can get more information by clicking here Anyone can contribute, including parents, grandparents, friends, and more. It all adds up. As a parent of college students, I really appreciate the program and the effort to put aside money to save for an important investment in our children’s lives. Congratulations, Owen, and all the best that this new account can provide for your future.

Pictured in the photo are State of Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, me, State Senator Tom Rielly, Alicia, Cory, and Owen Blankenfeld.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.