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Mercy Foundation, Fairfax State Savings Bank join forces on Giving Tuesday

The MedQuarter | November 29th, 2021

The Mercy Medical Center Foundation has announced that Fairfax State Savings Bank will match financial donations in observance of Giving Tuesday, which is Nov. 30. Donations received through the Mercy Foundation’s Giving Tuesday website from Nov. 16-30 will be matched by Fairfax State Savings Bank, up to $15,000.

Patrick Slater, president and board chair of Fairfax State Savings Bank, was inspired to initiate this challenge for Giving Tuesday after his recovery from quadruple bypass heart surgery, a procedure he received at Mercy.

“The kind of care you get matters,” Mr. Slater said. “I believe I’m alive today because of the care I received at Mercy. Now, I want to be a life worth saving. I want to do my part to make a difference.”

Mr. Slater hopes that this Giving Tuesday matching gift challenge will encourage others to join him and Fairfax State Savings Bank in supporting Mercy.

Giving Tuesday donations can be made at mercycare.org/giving/tuesday or by check with “Giving Tuesday” included on the memo line. Donations received by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30 will qualify for the Fairfax State Savings Bank match. Giving Tuesday gifts may be designated to specific funds.

For more information, visit mercycare.org/giving/tuesday, email mmcf@mercycare.org or call (319) 398-6206.

Mercy Foundation, Fairfax State Savings Bank join forces on Giving Tuesday

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital Earns Highest-Level Recognition for Chest Pain Care

The MedQuarter | November 23rd, 2021

St. Luke’s also Recognized by the American College of Cardiology in the “Best Hospitals” Issue of U.S. News & World Report

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital was recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in the 2022 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report for its dedication to heart patients.

St. Luke’s Hospital received the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, the highest-level chest pain award.

The award recognizes St. Luke’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that it has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

To receive the Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, St. Luke’s has demonstrated sustained achievement in the Chest Pain – MI Registry and has performed at the top level of standards for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

St. Luke’s also received ACC Chest Pain Center and Transcatheter Valve Accreditations and is the only hospital in Cedar Rapids with those honors. The hospital is also listed in four NCDR registries.

According to the American College of Cardiology patients and caregivers can trust hospitals and health systems that participate in the NCDR, receive ACC’s Accreditation seal of approval, and are recognized for delivering the best patient-centered heart care services.

MyUnityPoint allows patients to show proof of COVID vaccination and test results on Smartphones

The MedQuarter | November 22nd, 2021

MyUnityPoint (MyChart) allows patients to easily share their vaccine status for travel or events without having to carry a paper vaccine card

UnityPoint Health is introducing a digital option to offer proof of vaccination status or negative test for established patients. For people who travel, or need to show vaccination status for an event, their COVID-19 vaccination status can be accessed through MyUnityPoint (MyChart).

Chief Information Officer Laura Smith lauded the technology and how easy it is for patients to access. “The Quick Response (QR) code can be scanned at the point of service, printed or saved to another mobile app,” Smith said. “A business can then read the QR code, which displays vaccination status, or dates and results of recent COVID-19 tests.”

Established UnityPoint Health patients can simply log in to MyUnityPoint, click on “Menu,” then “COVID-19” and finally “QR codes” to access this feature.

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital LifeGuard Air Ambulance Receives Accreditation

The MedQuarter | November 17th, 2021

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital LifeGuard Air Ambulance recently received a three-year accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

CAMTS is an organization dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical transport services. The Commission offers a program of voluntary evaluation of compliance with accreditation standards demonstrating the ability to deliver service of a specific quality. To obtain accreditation, a medical transport service must be in substantial compliance with the Accreditation Standards.

“We are incredibly proud of our LifeGuard flight team and this long-term program,” said Jordan Kelly, St. Luke’s LifeGuard program manager. “This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence, safety and the steps we take to ensure high quality patient care.”

Thousands of individuals have been helped by St. Luke’s LifeGuard Air Ambulance since it came into service 40 years ago in 1981.

LifeGuard is one of five air medical programs in the state to earn CAMTS accreditation and 162 in the U.S. and Canada.

Mercy Medical Center Foundation & Fairfax State Savings Bank Announce Giving Tuesday Match Challenge

The MedQuarter | November 15th, 2021

The Mercy Medical Center Foundation is pleased to share that Fairfax State Savings Bank will be matching financial donations in observance of Giving Tuesday, which is Nov. 30. Starting Nov. 16 and continuing through Nov. 30, all donations received through the Mercy Foundation’s Giving Tuesday website will be matched by Fairfax State Savings Bank, up to $15,000.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of generosity that occurs annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement that inspires millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.

Patrick Slater, president and board chair of Fairfax State Savings Bank, was inspired to initiate this challenge for Giving Tuesday after his recovery from quadruple bypass heart surgery, a procedure he received at Mercy.

“The kind of care you get matters,” Slater said. “I believe I’m alive today because of the care I received at Mercy. Now, I want to be a life worth saving. I want to do my part to make a difference. The caregivers at Mercy weren’t just going through the motions with me. They did their jobs with such sincerity, and not just one of them, but everyone. The Mercy Touch is so much more than a motto.”

Patrick, his family and Fairfax State Savings Bank have a long-standing legacy of supporting Mercy, including financial gifts to Hospice of Mercy, HallMar Village, the Family Caregivers Center, the Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer, cardiac services and more. It’s a tradition that started with Patrick’s father, David Neuhaus, who he succeeded in leadership at Fairfax State Savings Bank.

Slater hopes that this Giving Tuesday matching gift challenge will encourage others to join him and Fairfax State Savings Bank in supporting Mercy and its exceptional patient care.

Giving Tuesday donations can be made at www.mercycare.org/giving/tuesday or by check with “Giving Tuesday” included on the memo line. Donations received by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, will qualify for the Fairfax State Savings Bank match. Giving Tuesday gifts may be designated to specific funds. Visit www.mercycare.org/giving/tuesday, email mmcf@mercycare.org or call 319-398-6206 for more information.

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital Goes Green to Raise Awareness About Need for Injury Prevention

The MedQuarter | November 15th, 2021

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital the hospital will turn its West Pavilion light green to help raise awareness about Injury Prevention. St. Luke’s is one of many organizations and cities across the country marking National Injury Prevention Day on Thurs., Nov. 18 and going green to support the awareness initiative.

According to Injury Free Coalition for Kids injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children and teens in the U.S. Every day, 20 children die from preventable injuries, resulting in more deaths than all other diseases combined. In fact, injury is the leading cause of death for people through 44 years of age.

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, St. Luke’s is teaming up with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Cedar Rapids Fire Department, Riverview, Waypoint, The Alliant PowerHouse, and many others to turn Cedar Rapids green, along with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, and other organizations across the country for the second annual “National Injury Prevention Day,” a day designed to raise awareness about the burden of injury, violence and a need for change.

Parents and guardians can learn more about what safety steps they can take to keep their child or teen safe. Go to injuryfree.org/safety.cfm to learn more.

St. Luke’s LifeGuard Flight Paramedic Soars to Milestone

The MedQuarter | November 10th, 2021

Long-time UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital LifeGuard Air Ambulance Flight Paramedic Sue Mincks, recently soared to a personal milestone – she has flown 1,000 flights on LifeGuard. Watch the video interview here!

Mincks has worked at St. Luke’s for 16 years and counting, joining St. Luke’s and the LifeGuard team in 2005. Prior to working at the hospital, she was a paramedic with Area Ambulance for 18 years.

“I really enjoy what I do,” shared Mincks. “Every day and every patient is different. Working as part of the LifeGuard team is the best job ever, because when I am not out on a call, I am able to help out throughout the hospital.”

Mincks is part of a three-person team, which includes a pilot, flight paramedic and a flight nurse. The LifeGuard crew is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to respond to emergencies in Linn, Johnson, Jones, Cedar and Benton counties.

“Working as member of the LifeGuard team requires one to think, expand our horizons, never stop learning, and then apply that knowledge to come up with an outside-the-box solution,” Mincks said. “Flying also comes with some unexpected perks such as teaching new students in the hospital or providing public and outreach education. Other additional perks include unique things like having a new vantage point to see the sun rising or setting, Christmas lights sparking off the snow, seeing the corn mazes from above, and so much more.”

“While many have come close, Sue is the first flight team member with St. Luke’s LifeGuard to reach this milestone,” explained Jordan Kelly, LifeGuard program manager. “Sue has truly taken our mission to the skies and provides the healthcare we want our loved ones to receive.”

“As a member the LifeGuard crew I hope we make a difference in our patient’s lives but it takes a team, and I can’t do my job without the rest of the LifeGuard team members. I am just a small piece of the whole puzzle, but I like being a part of it.”

Mincks and the entire LifeGuard team have helped thousands of individuals since the helicopter came into service over 40 years ago. LifeGuard has been a familiar sight in the skies around Cedar Rapids since February 23, 1981.

You can watch an interview with Mincks via the UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/DE5PZue-0ik

The History Center Features Last Historical Armstrong’s Department Store Display

The MedQuarter | November 4th, 2021

Rudolph's Return Special Holiday Display by The History CenterThe History Center is excited to share the last holiday display shown at Armstrong’s Department Store through a temporary exhibit available November 13 through December 30, 2021.

Armstrong employee Ron King, who helped bring the infamous holiday displays to shoppers for 24 years, has rebuilt the display Rudolph’s Retreat. The community is invited for a first-look at the holiday display on Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Rudolph’s Return. This family-friendly event includes photos with Santa, holiday llamas, crafts for kids, musical entertainment and cookies & cocoa.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the museum and explore the full Armstrong exhibit, Fashion and Philanthropy: The Armstrong Family.

Admission to Rudolph’s Return is $7.00 for general public and free for members of The History Center. Tickets may be purchased at historycenter.org/rudolph. Face coverings are required for all visitors.

Rudolph’s Return is generously sponsored by a friend of The History Center.

Mercy Cedar Rapids Earns Highest Recognition from Most Wired

The MedQuarter | November 4th, 2021

Mercy Medical Center has been awarded 2021 CHIME Digital Health Most Wired recognition as a certified Level 10 organization – the highest achievement possible – for the use of healthcare technology in its ambulatory care delivery. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.

This is the 14th time since 2006 that Mercy has received the Most Wired recognition, and the first time it has received a Level 10 certification.

Notably, Mercy ranked highest among all Iowa hospitals and is one of only 10 hospital systems nationwide to achieve that level of performance. In addition to its Level 10 certification in ambulatory care, Mercy was also recognized as the only Level 9 award winner for acute care in Iowa, which is the highest level achieved for acute care by an Iowa hospital.

A total of 36,674 organizations were represented in the 2021 Digital Health Most Wired program, which includes four separate surveys: acute, ambulatory, long-term care and international acute care. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and affect of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry-leading.

“Mercy is pleased to be named among the Top 10 Most Wired organizations in the country, and we are extremely proud of both our IT team and our hospital care delivery team for this recognition,” said Jeff Cash, senior vice president and Mercy’s chief information officer. “Our ability to deliver nationally recognized, award-winning clinical care across the organization has become tightly integrated with our use of the high-performing technology solutions utilized by our clinicians and patients. We feel fortunate that our investments in these advanced technologies are improving patient care, quality and access to patient data.”

Participating healthcare organizations can use the CHIME report and scores to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. For more information on the Most Wired program, visit   https://chimecentral.org/chime-most-wired-2/.

Sleep Problems Left Her a Little Choked Up

The MedQuarter | October 15th, 2021

Madelyn Olson is breathing easier these days, but there were years where she was losing sleep over her medical condition. She just didn’t know exactly what it was.Madelyn Olson CarePro

What she did know was that, when she’d lie down, “it felt like a gate closed in the back of my throat.”

That closing gate was in fact the muscles of her throat relaxing. Those muscles control the soft palate, uvula, walls of the throat and the tongue. As her throat relaxed, her airway narrowed or closed.

“I would choke or cough in sleep,” said Madelyn. That response came from her brain: It wasn’t getting enough oxygen.

“It made it hard to get a good night’s sleep,” she added, “and I’d feel tired the next day.”

A visit to the sleep experts at the Sleep Center at Mercy Medical Center in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District helped assess and identify the problem. She had sleep apnea, which caused her airway to close up to 23 times per hour while sleeping.

“That was the gate closing I was feeling,” she explained.

Sleeping Better with the Gate Open

The sleep assessment also determined what the setting should be on prescribed breathing equipment. With that information, she headed over to nearby CarePro Health Services, a medical equipment and services supplier in the MedQuarter.

“The folks at CarePro were so kind and patient with me,” said Madelyn. “I have claustrophobia, and the first couple of systems I tried were too much for me. I was trying one system and the power in the house went out. I was happy because I just ripped it off,” she remembers.

The CarePro team worked with her to find a solution, which turned out to be a “pillow-style” nose piece system that uses soft inserts in the nose to supply oxygen rather than a full face mask.

“It worked great, and now I can’t sleep without it,” she explained with a laugh.

Her equipment lasted many years, until recently she was encouraged to upgrade to new. She was tired of having to hand wash her equipment every day, so at the same time she purchased a hands-free chemical sanitizing system.

After a short time using the new equipment, she began to develop sores in her nose. Her doctors were unsure of the cause, and tests revealed no obvious problems. It wasn’t until she got a letter from her equipment manufacturer stating they were replacing any equipment that had been sanitized by her particular cleaning machine.

The reason was that an unwanted chemical reaction might occur between parts of the equipment and the chemicals in the sanitizer.

Challenges Overcome in the MedQuarter

She got a full refund from the sanitizer manufacturer, and soon she’ll have all-new breathing equipment. She’s back to hand washing, but that’s not all bad. “As soon as I stopped using the sanitizer machine, the sores in my nose started healing,” she said.

Though she does so mostly by phone and online these days, she loves working with CarePro. “They work with me to make sure everything is right,” said Madelyn, who recommends both CarePro and the MedQuarter to others.

Due to several unrelated health issues, she and her husband have made multiple trips per week from their home in Marion to the MedQuarter in the past six months.

Despite their health challenges, she loves the convenience of the MedQuarter. “We might have three appointments in three different buildings on any given day,” explained Madelyn.

That might be a scheduling or transportation hassle for anyone.

“But the parking and all the appointments are within a block of each other,” she adds, “so it’s not bad at all. The convenience of the MedQuarter having all the medical locations I need helps alleviate additional burden.”

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