Blog - MedQ

Becker’s Healthcare Podcast Features UnityPoint Health CEO, Michelle Niermann

The MedQuarter | May 6th, 2021

Michelle Niermann was recently a featured guest on the national podcast, Becker’s Healthcare. In this episode, Michelle discusses St. Luke’s Hospital, advice she would give to emerging healthcare leaders, and more. You can listen to the full podcast episode at the link below.Beckers Healthcare Podcast Featuring Michelle Niermann, CEO of UnityPoint Health

Listen Now:

Grant Wood Studio Reopening for Season with Free Admission

The MedQuarter | May 4th, 2021

The Grant Wood Studio and Armstrong Visitor Center will be reopening for the season on Saturday, April 10 at 12:00 p.m. Admission to the Studio is free for everyone during regular Studio hours courtesy of a grant from the Esther and Robert Armstrong Charitable Trust.

Grant Wood comes to life in this light-filled, inspirational loft known as the Grant Wood Studio, located right here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Wood lived and worked in the Studio from 1924 through 1935, but his spirit is still very much alive as visitors observe the decorative details and craftsmanship that went into transforming the loft into a studio, performance space, and living quarters. Visitors stand in the very spot where Wood painted some of his most famous works, including American Gothic (1930). The experience continues with a visit to the nearby Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which houses the world’s largest collection of artworks by Grant Wood.

Face Masks are required, and the docent guided Studio tours are limited to groups of ten (10) people at a time. Tours begin on the half hour. All COVID precautions have been implemented for your safety.

Grant Wood Studio hours
Saturday, Noon to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 4:00 p.m.

The Studio is located at 810 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401.

For more information, please visit or call 319.366.7503.

Tanager Place Bridge to the Future Scholarship Application Closes 5/14/21

The MedQuarter | May 4th, 2021

The deadline for the Tanager Place Bridge to the Future scholarship program is fast approaching on May 14, 2021.

“We are excited to open this year’s scholarship program up. It is an incredible privilege to be able to help kids who have benefited from Tanager Place services pursue their future education goals. One of the highlights of last year was signing the notification letters for our winners knowing how much it would impact them. This was especially important in 2020, as hope was so needed. We are beyond grateful that in 2019, an anonymous donor stepped forward with such a generous gift that will benefit Tanager Place alumni for years to come.  The program itself is designed to be accommodating to whatever the secondary education pursuit might be; enrolling in collegiate courses, attending a trade school or furthering academic goals in a community college,” commented, Okpara Rice, CEO.

Thanks to a generous $1M anonymous gift to Tanager Place in 2019, the organization is able to offer scholarships to assist those who have benefited from Tanager Place programs and services with meeting their secondary educational goals.

Criteria and applications are available online at  The deadline to receive completed applications is May 14, 2021.  A selection committee will announce the award recipients in late May.  This year over $56,000 will be awarded to children who have benefited from Tanager Place services.

UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids Walk-In Clinic Planned

The MedQuarter | May 3rd, 2021

UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids will offer COVID-19 vaccines on a walk-in basis at the MedLabs Building location at 717 A Ave. NE on Monday, May 3, Wednesday, May 5 and Friday, May 7 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please enter the vaccine clinic from the lower level entrance. The clinic will have the Pfizer vaccine available.

For individuals wishing to make a vaccine appointment, visit and click on the COVID-19 vaccine button on the St. Luke’s Hospital website. Individuals who wish to receive a vaccine do not have to be a UnityPoint Health patient.

St. Luke’s Six Weeks of Hope Culminates in Tree Planting on Arbor Day

The MedQuarter | April 30th, 2021

April 30, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital is finishing its Six Weeks of Hope series by planting a tree on the hospital campus on Arbor Day to represent the health care workers hope for a brighter future. St. Luke’s team members are invited to a brief tree-planting ceremony along A Avenue, near the St. Luke’s ER entrance at Noon, Friday, April 30. In addition to the tree planting, Michelle Niermann, St. Luke’s president and CEO and Wyatt Dagit, chaplain will say a few words.

Journalists are welcome to attend. Please see the red ‘X’ on the map below for the location of our Arbor Day tree planting event.

EI Sleep Supply Joins PCI MP2

The MedQuarter | April 28th, 2021

A new business, EI Sleep Supply, has opened in the MedQuarter. EI Sleep Supply will be located within PCI MP2 at 275 10th St. SE, Ste. 1130-B to serve Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities.

EI Sleep Supply offers a variety of PAP sleep equipment, supplies, and
treatment services. PAP therapy is a lifestyle change. Finding the right
machine, mask, and headgear is important to ensure successful therapy. With specially trained professionals and inventory on site, patients can look at sleep equipment and supplies prior to purchasing or renting and can also immediately take them home. Conveniently located in the same building as the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center and the PCI Neurology & Sleep Medicine Clinic, the goal is to reduce the patient’s stress when navigating the landscape of sleep services.

Learn more about EI Sleep Supply at the website,

Walk-In COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Available at Mercy Cedar Rapids

The MedQuarter | April 26th, 2021

New Information on COVID-19 Vaccine

Walk-in appointments are available for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at Mercy’s Vaccination Clinic located at 5264 Council St. NE in Cedar Rapids. Or, if you’d like to make an appointment, go to our website or call our COVID-19 vaccine clinic at (319) 369-4604.

How old do I have to be to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

You must be 16 years of age to receive the Pfizer vaccine and 18 years of age to receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine per the FDA. If under 18 (Pfizer only), a parental consent will need to be completed.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

The vaccines are safe and effective . Similar to the approval process for other vaccines, the FDA has conducted a thorough review and has verified the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, the process of and speed in developing the vaccines did not compromise the safety or the effectiveness of them.

This is Important: Get Vaccinated!

The vaccine is the single-most important tool in our efforts to reduce COVID-19 and move even closer to resuming life as it was pre-COVID. Every shot in an arm moves us closer, and we are starting to see the results.

May is Mental Health Month and Tanager Place Supports This with Activities

The MedQuarter | April 26th, 2021

Support Mental Health Month with Tanager Place and their calendar of activities throughout May.

May 7 – Youth Mental Health First Aid

May 12 – Virtual Resiliency and Trauma Informed Care Symposium

May 21 – Processing Trauma Through Play Therapy

Find more events at

Listen to KMRY 93.1 on May 25 at 8:30 a.m. or find a podcast at

Watch us on CBS 2 on May 18 at Noon at, or check out our blog at

Support Tanager Place’s mission by purchasing a t-shirt at

Mercy Foundation receives $1 million gift for establishment of Dorothy McGrath Neighborhood at HallMar Village

The MedQuarter | April 26th, 2021

Bruce and Judy McGrath

The Mercy Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce a $1 million gift from Bruce and Judy McGrath of Cedar Rapids for the creation and formation of the Dorothy McGrath Neighborhood at HallMar Village. The neighborhood is named in honor and memory of Bruce’s mother.

The Dorothy McGrath Neighborhood will be the skilled nursing unit located within HallMar Village, an advanced, integrated senior living community that is being developed in northeast Cedar Rapids by Mercy in partnership with Presbyterian Homes & Services. HallMar Village will also include neighborhoods for independent and assisted living.

The McGraths said they were compelled to support this project because Dorothy McGrath felt a deep connection to Mercy Medical Center. She lived the final year of her life at Mercy’s Hallmar residential care facility and, before that, was a long-time Mercy volunteer and Auxiliary member, contributing thousands of hours throughout the course of nearly 30 years. She was also a driving force behind the creation of the Mercy Gift Shop.

“My mother had a special affinity for Mercy Medical Center and always appreciated the compassionate care and warm hospitality it extended to its patients and their families,” Bruce said. “In her years of volunteering at the Mercy Gift Shop, she would encourage her grandchildren to visit her there, always offering them the opportunity to select a piece of candy or a toy that she would purchase for them. So, of course, they loved Mercy, as well! We can’t think of a better way to honor my mother’s memory than to donate to this visionary project at Mercy’s HallMar Village.”

Construction of HallMar Village is anticipated to begin yet this year, with completion expected in 2023. For more information, please visit

Mercy Cedar Rapids announces plans for center of excellence for community heart & vascular care

The MedQuarter | April 22nd, 2021

New facility to provide area’s most advanced, patient-centered heart care.

Mercy Medical Center announced plans to develop Linn County’s largest and most comprehensive facility dedicated to heart and vascular care. The Heart Center at Mercy, scheduled to open in mid-2023, will be an integrated and patient-centered, state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot facility.

This unique facility will bring heart specialists and coordinated heart services all under one roof and within a single center as Mercy continues to develop the area’s leading heart program.

The new facility will be conveniently located at the corner of 9th St. and 8th Ave. SE – just across the street from the main hospital in downtown Cedar Rapids. It will offer patients access to advanced technologies and treatments, as well as feature patient conveniences along the continuum of care – from prevention and screening to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

Funding for the facility is made possible through an extraordinarily generous estate gift.  Mercy will be sharing more information about the gift and donor when those details are finalized.

“We are very focused on continuing to positively change the landscape of heart care within the communities we serve,” said Tim Charles, Mercy president and CEO. “Mercy has made so much progress in caring for hearts locally and this facility will continue the momentum. Over the course of many years, we’ve focused on establishing the area’s leading heart program; emphasizing quality outcomes, increasing access, enhancing the patient experience and advancing technology and procedures. With the growth we’ve experienced, now is the time for this next step as we combine our efforts into a new heart center and bring our resources under one roof.”

Driven by exceptional quality and services, Mercy has experienced tremendous growth in its heart program, which now treats more patients in Linn County for heart care than any other hospital. Additionally, Mercy is the only hospital in Cedar Rapids that is currently ranked as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by Fortune and IBM Watson Health. It’s also the only hospital in the city to have earned the prestigious three-star rating – the highest rating – for open heart surgery by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

“The development of The Heart Center at Mercy Cedar Rapids is a natural progression for us as we continue to build our award-winning heart program and enhance care coordination and the overall patient experience,” said Mercy Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, C.C. Lee, MD, FACS, co-medical director of The Heart Center at Mercy. “This new facility will allow us the space to accommodate our growth and continue adding to the program.”

Additional plans for Mercy’s heart program that can be accommodated with the new facility include the addition of a new cardiothoracic thoracic surgeon, as well as enhancing and increasing the number of heart-focused specialty clinics designed to provide education, ongoing assessments and individual care plans, including clinics for heart failure, A-Fib, heart valve disorders and more.

With Mercy’s heart services situated under one roof, the center will provide easier navigation for patients, access to leading-edge technologies and an enhanced environment for providers. As a result, patients can expect unmatched coordination of care between cardiology specialists, including interventional cardiology; electrophysiology; cardiac and vascular surgery; cardio-oncology; pediatric cardiology; and diagnostic teams. Together, Mercy’s specialized cardiac staff will guide patients through the continuum of care.

A central vision of The Heart Center at Mercy is to greatly enhance access to screenings and early detection of heart conditions. This will include state-of-the-art cardiac and vascular screening stations within an interactive lobby space to provide education and early detection opportunities. Engaging the community in these activities will support the identification of heart conditions sooner, thereby providing the opportunity for greater intervention earlier and decreasing the number of patients with unaddressed severe cardiac and vascular illness.

“The interactive and educational programming space in our lobby will be a true differentiator,” said Cardiologist Ryan Hollenbeck, MD, FACC, FSCAI, co-medical director of The Heart Center at Mercy. “With the use of advanced technology, we will be able to offer a truly engaging and interactive teaching environment for our patients, families, schools and students. We’re really excited about the potential for these types of patient engagement.”

Dr. Hollenbeck said The Heart Center at Mercy would also include community education space for CPR and AED training and other similar programming, adding that the new facility would be the community’s central hub for heart-related information and education.

Another feature of the first level will be a large walking track. This is part of a new cardiac rehabilitation space to help patients transition back from medical and surgical intervention to full daily living.

Designed for vertical expansion, the facility can be further developed with the addition of electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites, which are currently available within the main hospital location.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021. Mercy will announce additional project details as the plan moves forward.

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