Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guest Blog: GRMC’s Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair Focuses on Setting Boundaries

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Grinnell High School for the annual Women’s Health Focus, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

We women are responsible for so much. Moms and grandmas get the kids to school. We make the appointments with healthcare providers. Laundry. Caring for our aging parents and caring for our grandchildren. Yet, we still have to be “put together” out in the real world—both literally and figuratively.

I have a few solutions. The first: no more nylons. Don’t you feel better already? Just say no. (For those of you who like pantyhose, it’s OK. You can keep them. Just find your own boundaries.)

Second: Get your tickets for the fourth annual GRMC Women’s Health Focus, co-sponsored by GRMC and the Grinnell Regional Auxiliary. If you haven’t been to one, you really must check it out. No matter where you are on your life’s journey, the GRMC Women’s Health Focus offers a little something for everyone. We’ve even expanded this year’s event to include our annual Baby Fair. Both events have always been all about taking care of women, so it made sense to merge them.

This year’s keynote speaker, Colette Carlson, will discuss “The Truth about Balance: How to Stress Less and Laugh More.” She promises to take us on a heartfelt, humorous journey into our own lives and help us bring about the self-awareness that begins long-lasting change.

During her presentation Carlson will share with us how clear boundaries and thoughtful choices lead to greater satisfaction and stronger results, whether we are never-been mothers, expecting mothers, new mothers, been-around-the-block mothers, or grandmothers.

The GRMC Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair is a relaxed night out with the girls. Scott Gruhn and the catering staff from the Mayflower Community will do all the cooking. This year’s menu includes: Pasta primavera, stuffed chicken breast, steakhouse salad, sweet and sour pork stir fry, fresh vegetable salad, fruit and cheese tray, assorted breads, and a wonderful dessert table.

Childcare is also available at a minimal charge that includes a meal and fun activities for kids. Plenty of educational booths will inform us about healthcare opportunities in area communities. We are also offering some “retail therapy,” with 11 select vendors selling unique merchandise.
And did I mention there’s a lot of free swag for you to take home? Door prizes include massages, fitness center memberships, a Flip camera, and jewelry from Bill’s Jewelry.

But no more nylons. I swear. That is my clear boundary. I’m letting go of what doesn’t work for me. How about you? What doesn’t work for you?

In addition to the Grinnell Regional Auxiliary, other partners who help make this night possible for you are Family Medicine, Grinnell College, Harkin Wellness, Mercy Health Network, Woodard Hearing Center, Grinnell Eye Care, Iowa Radiology, Grinnell Family Care, Maytag Laundry and Tanning, and Windstream Communications.

Tickets are just $18 per person if purchased by Sept. 24. After that date, tickets are $25. For tickets, go to http://tinyurl.com/2010whf . Everyone who registers online will be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate at The Glass Gift Box. Tickets are also available at The Glass Gift Box.

Scholarships are also available. To find out if you are eligible, please contact Sheryl Baarda at 641-236-2326.

The best thing of all about the Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair is that the most amazing women show up and have a good time. I hope to see you there.

Denise Lamphier
Director of Communications and Development

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tagged for Success at GRMC

I have 16 yellow, diamond-shaped tags, each representing another successful Tag Day by the Grinnell Regional Auxiliary. I love to support this effort because it is such a long-time tradition for healthcare in our area.

In fact, this annual fundraiser dates back to long before I was even born! Tag Day was initiated in the 1920s as a fundraiser for the hospital - back then it was Community Hospital. It was originally called "Balloon Day" because everyone who contributed received a brightly colored balloon. Downtown businesses were generous donors and decorated their windows with balloons. Hospital archives note that on the day of the annual event, the city was "blooming with balloons."
The Auxiliary replaced the colorful balloons with paper tags during World War II because of the rubber shortage. The bright yellow diamond-shaped tags have continued supporting healthcare in the 21st century. The one-day fundraiser finds more than 100 volunteers selling tags in the GRMC service area. Last year, the Auxiliary raised more than $2,000 in one day.
This year, Auxiliary members will once again welcome donations to its annual Tag Day Fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 27. Look for them in your neighborhood. Please consider supporting their fund drive. Donations go toward the GRMC Auxiliary's 2010 goals:
  • Supporting the development of a physical therapy room at Postels Community Health Park with a $7,000 contribution.
  • Giving $8,000 to the medical center's annual fund drive to be used for hospital equipment.
  • Providing $10,000 in healthcare-related scholarships to area residents.
  • Sponsoring the Women's Health Focus.

I know many residents in our area have more than 16 Tag Day tags. I'd love to hear from you regarding the number of tags you have collected. Thanks for your support of GRMC as we strive to meet the needs of our community.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Proud to Tell Our Story

Recently, I attended the American Hospital Association / Health Forum Leadership Summit. This annual event draws over a thousand healthcare leaders from around the country and Canada to consider what’s new in healthcare delivery. This year, Capt. Sully Sullenberger, the captain of the US Air flight that successfully landed in the Hudson River, Vice-President Al Gore, filmmaker Ken Burns, former White House Press Secretary DeeDee Myers, economist Steven Levitt and U.S.Rep. Newt Gingrich were a few of the keynote speakers. Laura Woodburn and the Health Forum team always pull together a great conference. It was fun to see old friends and interact with some of the brightest leaders in the field. I always learn something and get energized.

This year I had the opportunity to make two presentations. The first one was in a pre-conference workshop entitled, “Sustainability…Reducing Costs-Improving Patient and Employee Satisfaction.” The panel of speakers included CEOs from both urban and rural hospitals, consultants, and policy researchers. I was pleased to share GRMC’s efforts over the past several years to get “green” and save money. For example, last year we added 400 feet of pipe insulation and installed 161 removable valve and boiler blankets in our physical plant. With a total cost of $53,000 and annual savings of $26,000 per year, it was obviously a no-brainer! It was great to hear the enthusiasm from many of the attendees. I do believe if our mission is truly to improve the health of the community, we have an obligation to do our part to when it comes to minimizing our impact on the environment. I am very proud of the Green Team at GRMC and all their accomplishments.

The other presentation was on the final day of the conference and focused on creating an “optimal healing environment.” My co-presenter was Dr. Wayne Jonas, the president of the Samueli Institute. (Learn more about the Institute and OHE here).

Dr. Jonas presented the theory and I provided the “color commentary” with real examples of how we put the evidence-based work of Samueli into practice. My good friend Sita Ananth leads the hospital relationships for Samueli and it was great to have her at the meeting. She has influenced our work greatly in this area. For more than a decade, my optimal healing team at GRMC have made us a national leader in this movement.

It was a great joy to tell our story as a shining example of how our mission comes alive because of the collective work of many committed employees. I am indeed proud of them and only wish they all could have been on hand to hear me brag a bit about their accomplishments and commitment to continuing the journey.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guest blog: Intern Welcomed to Grinnell

I have spent the last 11 weeks working, living, and especially enjoying Grinnell at GRMC. I spent the summer as an administration intern as part of my graduate program at the University of Iowa receiving a Master of Health Administration. Over this unique summer work experience, I have learned many things in Grinnell.

First, although downtown Grinnell is not as large as Iowa City’s, it does not take away from the exceptional food and entertainment I saw during Friday Fest early this June.

Second, I learned that as a rural community hospital, GRMC faces many challenges most hospitals do not. As a “tweener” hospital, something Todd Linden has mentioned in previous blogs, GRMC is in a very unique position with its size and reimbursement rates.

Last, I learned a strong hospital makes for a strong community, but more importantly, a strong community creates a strong hospital. The community members I met on the board of directors are passionate, engaged, and truly believe in the mission and values of GRMC. With the invaluable involvement and support of the community, GRMC has weathered the economic storm, recruited four new members of the medical staff, and convinced Capital Hill that a town of 10,000 deserves as much recognition (through the “tweener” legislation) as any other.

Between my family in Des Moines, and school in Iowa City, I will drive by exit 182 on interstate 80 with memories of a great summer filled with new friends, new experiences, and the new appreciation of how hospitals and the community truly depend on each other to become great.

To everyone I had the pleasure to meet and work with, thanks, and take care, until we meet again.

Kyle Wilcox
Administrative Intern 2010