Physicians Clinic of Iowa Adjusting Hours and Entry Points

The MedQuarter | March 27th, 2020

Physicians Clinic of Iowa in Cedar Rapids is shortening its hours and limiting entry points to its facility due to COVID-19. The measures will take effect Monday, March 30 and only affect the Cedar Rapids campus; PCI’s clinic in North Liberty has been temporarily closed. PCI’s Cedar Rapids campus, including both Medical Pavilions 1 and 2, will adopt an 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday – Friday schedule. Open entrances include both sidewalks from Parking Ramp E, the 10th Street entrance by Caribou Coffee and the covered walkway entrance from Parking Ramp D. Valet parking also remains closed.

Mercy Cedar Rapids Opens Dedicated Clinic for Respiratory Illnesses

The MedQuarter | March 27th, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS (March 26, 2020) – Starting March 27, Mercy is establishing a dedicated clinic to care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Primary care and urgent care patients needing appointments or testing for respiratory illness – such as a cough, difficulty breathing, fever and runny nose – will be directed by their medical provider to the newly established respiratory illness-only site at MercyCare Hiawatha Urgent Care. The hours of this clinic are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The clinic is available for patients with a referral only and not walk-in appointments. Patients should still work through their primary care provider or an urgent care clinic for an initial video visit or assessment over the phone to determine the next steps for their care. Patients with severe illness or more complex cases should seek care at Mercy’s Emergency Department at (319) 398-6037.

Ancillary services such imaging and testing for COVID-19 are available at the new respiratory illness-only clinic. COVID-19 testing will be conducted with a physician order and in accordance with Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines.

This site is being established as a centralized location to address the increased number of patients with respiratory illness and to continue regular clinic availability at other locations. In addition, centralizing respiratory illness is another way to help conserve important protective equipment.

Patients who seek care for non-respiratory symptoms at the MercyCare Hiawatha Urgent Care will instead be directed to nearby MercyCare North Urgent Care.

Patients who do not have a primary care provider should call Mercy’s Find-A-Doc line at (319) 369-4444 or go online to schedule an urgent care video visit.

Miranda Conquers Cancer at a Young Age

The MedQuarter | March 26th, 2020

Miranda NeffIn November 2018, Miranda Neff was experiencing a lot of pain but thought a lump in her breast was just a cyst.

She had an ultrasound, and it was inconclusive. Then her skin turned red, and the pain got worse. So she returned a few months later for more tests. The lump had grown to the size of a tennis ball.

In January 2019, she learned it was cancer. Miranda was 25 years old.

She was diagnosed with Stage 3 triple negative inflammatory breast cancer — a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. She also tested positive for the BRCA 1 genetic mutation, which puts women at high risk (86%, as stated by FORCE, or Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) for breast and ovarian cancer. She then discovered the mutation runs in her family.

Six days after she was diagnosed, Miranda started her cancer journey at Hall-Perrine Cancer Center located in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District – 20 weeks of chemo, a double mastectomy and 30 rounds of radiation.

Finding the Positive in Her Cancer Journey

When Miranda was given the diagnosis, it took a little bit to sink in because she was sure it was just a cyst or an infection, not cancer — especially at such a young age. She learned to stay positive, though.

“At the end of the day, it was just easier to smile. Being happier and smiling is easier than being in the uncomfortable and sad place,” Miranda said.

Knowing she was going to receive high-quality care from cancer experts in the MedQ helped. The personal, compassionate care she was given helped too.

“The doctors and nurses at Hall-Perrine know their jobs but are also incredibly nice and very personable. The care teams take the time to get to know you, and they genuinely care, which to me is just as important as knowing what you’re doing. It makes for a happier treatment time,” Miranda said.

MedQ Is the Best Choice for Cancer Care

A friend, whose father had cancer, advised Miranda to choose a doctor she trusted.

“I had a very long conversation with my oncologist, Dr. [Ann] Stroh, and all of my questions were answered. I felt comfortable around her, and so did my parents,” Miranda said.

Miranda added that although inflammatory breast cancer is rare, she was confident choosing to receive her treatment in the MedQ was the best choice for her. “I got the best cancer care,” Miranda said.

“You are able to build so many relationships with the chemo nurses and doctors,” Miranda said. “Everyone became the support system.”

Today, Miranda is doing well and back at work full-time. “I am living the best life I possibly can! I always knew I was in good hands because of all the positive experiences I have had at Hall-Perrine,” Miranda said.

Mercy Cedar Rapids Expands Use of Telemedicine to Accommodate Patient Needs

The MedQuarter | March 20th, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS (March 19, 2020) – In an effort to continue to provide accessible, high-quality healthcare to our community as we actively address the COVID-19 situation, Mercy is expanding the use of telemedicine to offer patients video visits with more local providers at more local locations. This initiative provides yet another way for patients to receive urgent care, primary care or specialty healthcare services from Mercy and MercyCare providers.

Available now, expanded video visits offer patients access to a local Mercy healthcare provider through Mercy’s MyChart mobile app. Patients can then connect with the provider in a live video chat to discuss their illness and symptoms.

The video visits cover a wide range of patient needs – from acute care to the management of chronic conditions to follow-up appointments. At the conclusion of the visit, providers can send a prescription directly to a patient’s preferred pharmacy, if necessary. The visits are covered by most insurance carriers, and some carriers have chosen to waive cost-sharing at this time.  Self-pay is also an option for this service.

“As more eastern Iowans are self-isolating and practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus, we’ve worked diligently to expand the use of our telehealth capabilities to reach patients at home or wherever they might be,” said Dr. Tim Sagers, MercyCare family medicine physician. “Video visits are a natural fit for patients who prefer or need to stay home at this time, yet still need to consult with a doctor so they can get better, quicker.”

Dr. Sagers also stressed that Mercy Medical Center and MercyCare clinics remain open and accessible to patients, but video visits offer an off-site option to seek the care of a local healthcare provider.

Mercy is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends that healthcare organizations expand access to telemedicine for patients during the coronavirus outbreak.

Patients can get more information on urgent care, primary care and specialty care video visits, offered through the MyChart mobile app, by calling their Mercy or MercyCare provider or by visiting

Mercy How To Use Telemedicine Flyer


Support Restaurants, Shops & Services in the MedQ

The MedQuarter | March 17th, 2020

Restaurants are now restricted to carry-out, delivery or drive-through services through March 31 – this is being done for the health and safety of all Iowans. Every industry, from restaurants and bars to shops and services, are feeling the impacts of this unprecedented event. You can still support local by ordering carry out, or grabbing a gift card from your favorites. Please know that this is a fluid situation and it is recommended to call ahead.


Caribou Coffee (Inside Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa) – (319) 365-1694 or
Hours: M-F 8A – 4P
Carry out only, Gift cards available online

Kathy’s Pies – (319) 362-5216 or
Hours: M-F 7A – 5P, Sat 8A – 1P
Carry out only, curbside pick-up if pre-paid
Delivery by Grubhub, Uber Eats, My Town To Go, etc. Will deliver for free with a $20 minimum order. Gift cards available at

Moniker 86 Social Club – (319) 200-8686
Closed until further notice
Gift cards available on Facebook

Phong Lan Vietnamese – (319) 365-5784 or
Hours: M-Sat 11A – 9P
Carry out only

Riley’s Cafe – (319) 777-9778 or
Hours:8A – 1P
Carry out or curbside pickup, delivery by Grubhub and Uber Eats available
Gift cards available in store

Taco Bell – (319) 366-0123 or
Hours: Sun-Wed 10A – 10P, Thu-Sat 10A – 12A
Drive through or online
Delivery by Grubhub available
Gift cards available online

Via Sofia’s Italian Kitchen – (319) 362-9667 or
Hours: Daily 11A – 9P
Carry out or curbside pickup, Delivery by Door Dash, My Town 2 Go and Uber Eats available
Gift cards available in store


All-American Bullion & Coins(319) 409-5014
Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri 9:30A – 6P, Tue/Thu/Sat 9:30A – 4P

The Art Cellar (319) 364-0506
Hours: Mon-Fri 10A – 5P, Sat 10A – 1P

Gilded Pear Gallery(319) 366-0205
Hours: Tue-Fri 10A – 5P, Sat 10A – 4P
Visitors to the gallery limited, or by appointment
In-store or curbside pickup
Delivery available for large items
Gift cards available in store or by phone

Saigon Market (319) 363-2900
Hours: Daily 12P – 5P
No delivery available


Bank of the West(319) 366-1851
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30A – 4P, Sat 9A – 12P
Drive through only, appointments available by arrangement

Better Business Bureau (319) 365-1190
Hours: Mon-Fri 8A – 5P
No walk-ins, no face-to-face meetings

Citywide Cleaners(319) 364-6131
Hours: Mon, Tues, & Fri 10A – 6P, Sat 9A – 12P
Drive through only
Delivery available

Firestone Complete Auto Care(319) 536-1560
Hours: Mon-Sat 8A – 4P
Night drop box available

Update from Large Health Care Institutions in the MedQuarter

The MedQuarter | March 17th, 2020

Cedar Rapids Hospitals Update Visitor Restrictions

Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital are further restricting hospital visitors, due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), in order to protect patients, staff, visitors and the community.

Starting at 3 p.m. today St. Luke’s will put these measures in place and Mercy at 7 a.m. tomorrow (March 17) all routine visiting at the hospitals will be suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community.

The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness schools, churches and other venues restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below.

Please note in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever (100.4 or greater) cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, children under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Exceptions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
  • Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • St. Luke’s patients who are at the end-of-life may have two visitors.
  • Mercy patients at end-of-life may have visitors assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor, parents, or guardians.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
  • Patients who have an appointment at a Mercy or St. Luke’s hospital-based clinic, laboratory, or radiology, as well as those visiting the Emergency Room (ER), may have one person with them.
  • All Birth Care tours and classes are postponed until further notice, with the exception of St. Luke’s C-Section Class, this will still take place.

Visitors allowed must stay in the patients room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the hospital.

Please note that visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

We appreciate your understanding during these uncertain times. Our goal is to protect our patients, staff and the community.


Elective Surgeries Suspended in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids, IOWA – With the continuing spread of COVID-19 within the U.S., Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Physicians, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health authorities, to care for affected individuals while taking steps to limit person-to-person spread within our communities.

At this time, we have collectively decided to temporarily postpone, non-life threatening, non-urgent surgeries and procedures. This step will impact elective surgeries and procedures at the Cedar Rapids hospitals and Surgery Center. Care teams at each entity will begin the process of reaching out to affected patients to reschedule. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will reassess on an ongoing basis.

The health and safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority. We believe taking this step now, is the best interest of all and will help us protect our valuable resources, which is our healthcare workers, providers and will also preserve supplies during this challenging period.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Corizzo, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, 319-369-8372 or 319-560-2385 and Karen Vander Sanden, Mercy Medical Center, 319-398-6083 or 319-558-8424.

Preparations, Processes in Place at Mercy Cedar Rapids to Address COVID-19

The MedQuarter | March 12th, 2020

March 12, 2020 – We understand there are many questions and concerns about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) now that we have confirmed cases in Iowa.

We want to assure the community that Mercy Cedar Rapids is closely following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and working closely with public health officials and other area hospitals and healthcare providers to address this rapidly-changing situation.

Mercy has put processes in place to triage and treat potential cases of COVID-19.  These measures are designed to protect patients, visitors and our healthcare workforce.

If You Suspect You Have COVID-19:

  • With the exception of severe cases, please do not go to the Emergency Department if you have symptoms of or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
  • If you suspect that you may have the Coronavirus, call the Mercy Emergency Department at (319) 398-6037. Nurses are available by phone to answer your questions and direct you to the appropriate care, if needed.
  • The State Hygienic Laboratory will not test for COVID-19 unless they have prior approval from the Iowa Department of Public Health.


The best way to avoid getting COVID-19 – or any virus – is to follow common practices that eliminate and/or reduce your exposure to germs. These activities include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Twenty seconds is the recommended amount of time to fully cleanse your hands.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissues are available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.

How  Mercy Is Keeping Employees & Volunteers Safe:

Keeping our healthcare workforce healthy and safe is a top priority to ensure we are prepared and able to serve the health needs of our community as this situation evolves. As a result, Mercy has several mechanisms currently in place to ensure the safety of all of our patients, staff and volunteers, as well as minimize any potential exposure. In addition to the universal precautions listed above, this also includes:

  • Using personal protective equipment when caring for potentially contagious patients
  • Increasing physical distance (when possible)
  • Moving volunteers from certain areas and supporting those who choose not to come in
  • Evaluating all large upcoming public events
  • Restricting visitors to the hospital and Hallmar residential care
  • Implementing processes for patient flow to limit potential exposure


Because the coronavirus situation is developing so rapidly, we’ll continue to keep you informed via Mercy’s website and social media, including Mercy’s Facebook page.

Linn County Public Health Encourages Communities to Prepare for Potential COVID-19 Cases

The MedQuarter | March 11th, 2020

LINN COUNTY, IA – The first COVID-19 cases in Iowa were announced this week, which has resulted in increasing awareness and preparation for the potential spread of COVID-19 to Linn County communities. Linn County Public Health (LCPH) continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local public and private partners to monitor and prepare for potential cases and plan to mitigate spread of COVID-19. Public health partners plan for these kinds of events, and have plans and systems in place to respond and prevent spread of disease.

Currently, individual risk of COVID-19 is dependent upon exposure. This includes travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring. For updated travel guidance, visit the CDC COVID-19 Travel Information webpage at Individuals that have recently been to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days may face some limitations on movement or activity. Those individuals are asked to follow public health instructions during this time.

LCPH asks everyone to do their part to help plan for this emerging public health threat. Every-day prevention methods for containing the spread of germs are very important. This includes washing hands frequently, staying home if you are ill, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is also important.

Individuals and organizations can also do their part to prepare for and mitigate spread of COVID-19. Schools, businesses, and other organizations should review their plans for potential absences due to illness. IDPH has many targeted recommendations for schools, businesses, long-term care facilities and more at Individuals should make a plan with their families that considers how they will continue to work if your child’s school closes, if you become sick, or how you will take care of sick family members while trying not to get infected.

It is important to get information on COVID-19 from trusted sources. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit these websites:

Iowa Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.


 Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.

Lorrie Erusha Joins Mercy Medical Center as Foundation President

The MedQuarter | March 9th, 2020

Lorrie Erusha
Lorrie Erusha

CEDAR RAPIDS (March 9, 2020) – Following an extensive search, Lorrie Erusha has joined Mercy as president of the Mercy Medical Center Foundation. Erusha will begin her role as Mercy’s sixth Foundation president on April 6, succeeding Julie Crockett.

“I am pleased and honored to be joining such an exceptional organization,” Erusha said. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Sisters of Mercy and the mission of this organization. Over the years, Mercy has been an integral piece of the fabric of my extended family, so being able to work here is truly wonderful. I’m looking forward to helping Mercy carry out its important work and building relationships with our patients and the community.”

Most recently, Erusha served as director of philanthropy at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids, where she recently oversaw a fundraising campaign that secured $6.6 million for the Tanager Place Behavioral Health Clinic. Prior to that, she was owner of a leadership and human resources management consulting company, working with privately held and not-for-profit organizations. Erusha’s additional leadership roles include firm administrator at a local law firm, and both leadership advisor and alcohol education coordinator at Mount Mercy University. Additionally, she was president of a local consulting and professional growth company called In Process.

“We’re pleased that Lorrie will be part of our Mercy team of caregivers,” said Tim Charles, Mercy president and CEO. “Her personal and professional background embody our long-standing commitment to continue the work of the Sisters of Mercy well into the future.  In her new leadership role, Lorrie has expressed her desire to build and grow the Mercy Foundation and foster relationships that will help meet the needs of Mercy Medical Center and our community.”

Erusha holds a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Promotion and Marketing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Erusha is a native of Yuma, AZ. She and her husband, Bruce, have lived and worked in Cedar Rapids since 1992. They have three adult children and one grandchild.

Cedar Rapids hospitals limit number of patient visitors

The MedQuarter | March 6th, 2020

Cedar Rapids (March 6, 2020) – In keeping with a commitment to patient safety, Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital will limit patient visitations in order to minimize potential patient exposure to seasonal influenza and other respiratory viruses. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Iowa.

Starting today, the following precautions will take effect until further notice.

  • Visitors at both hospitals are limited to two adults per patient room at any time unless there is a special circumstance. Adults are classified as individuals 18 years of age or older and must be in good health. Special circumstances apply to end-of-life or critically ill patients. Children are not allowed to visit at this time.
  • Visitors to Labor & Delivery and Pediatrics floors are limited to parents and two adults in good health. In addition, healthy siblings under 18 years of age are allowed.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) visitors are limited to parents and two adults in good health. Children are not allowed to visit at this time.

Both hospitals recognize and appreciate the interest people have in supporting family and friends who are hospitalized. However, these precautionary measures are being taken to provide optimal safety for patients as instances of seasonal flu is on the rise.

The changes in visitation policies at both hospitals are in addition to the precautions already taken to guard against the spread of illness. Both hospitals have hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout their facilities. Visitors should wash their hands before and after visiting a patient and should cough or sneeze into a tissue or shirtsleeve.

Again, these precautions are for the safety of hospitalized patients. These changes will remain in place until further notice.