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Mercy Awards Rural First Responder Grants to Outlying Agencies

The MedQuarter | August 31st, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (Aug. 31, 2020) – In recognition of the critical role first responders play in rural emergency care, Mercy Medical Center is pleased to award Rural First Responder Grants totaling more than $19,250 to 11 area first-responder agencies. The grants will assist with education and resources necessary to provide the best medical care to those in outlying communities.

First responders are often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency to provide medical assistance.  

“In keeping with its mission, Mercy recognizes the importance of rural first responders,” said Melissa Cullum, Mercy’s director of community benefit. “It is imperative that first responders in rural areas have access to the resources needed to provide the best medical assistance to residents in their communities. Mercy is pleased to offer this grant to further strengthen rural emergency care by building and fostering relationships with the first responders who faithfully serve outside our urban cities.”     

Mercy’s Rural First Responder Grants provide a contribution to select organizations requesting equipment to be used for emergency care in the pre-hospital environment, as well as for medical emergency training for first responders.

This year’s recipients are:

  1. Belle Plaine Police Department – donation to purchase seven tourniquet and bleeding control kits
  2. Benton County Sheriff’s Office – donation to purchase Stat Packs G3 Responder EMS Pack for the school resource officer at Benton Community School District
  3. Blairstown Ambulance Service – donation to purchase two AEDs and one trainer AED
  4. Center Point Regional Ambulance – donation to purchase six pulse oximeters and carrying cases
  5. Central City Fire and Rescue Department – donation to purchase Rescue Randy training equipment
  6. Jefferson-Monroe Fire Department – donation to purchase defibrillator
  7. Lisbon-Mt. Vernon Ambulance Service – donation to purchase three intraosseous catheter insertion drills
  8. Monticello Fire Department – donation to purchase two AEDs
  9. North Benton EMS – donation to purchase Surface Pro
  10. Stanwood Ambulance – donation to purchase Surface Pro, keyboard and printer
  11. Van Horne First Responders – donation for training class for 10 members and certification testing for team leads

Grant applicants must be first-responder agencies demonstrating financial need and be located within the Mercy Medical Center service area, which includes Benton, Cedar, Delaware, Iowa, northern Johnson, Jones, Linn and Tama counties.

Eastern Iowa Sleep Supply to Open This Fall in Cedar Rapids

The MedQuarter | August 17th, 2020

Eastern Iowa Sleep Center and UnityPoint at Home recently announced a joint venture, Eastern Iowa Sleep Supply LLC, that will offer a comprehensive selection of CPAP supplies and sleep equipment to patients in the Cedar Rapids region.

Eastern Iowa Sleep Supply is scheduled to open this fall and will be located inside Physicians Clinic of Iowa, Medical Pavilion 2 at 275 10th St. SE in Cedar Rapids. The supply shop will be open to the public five days a week.

Eastern Iowa Sleep Center and UPaH partnered on the venture to improve patient access to sleep apnea-related medical equipment. With specially trained professionals and inventory onsite, Eastern Iowa Sleep Supply will provide patients the opportunity to look at equipment prior to purchase or rent and immediately take it home.

“By partnering with Eastern Iowa Sleep Center, we are able to standardize care delivery to all patients receiving treatment for sleep apnea in the region,” Patrick Reeves, Vice President of Home Medical Equipment at UPaH, stated in a press release.

“Eastern Iowa Sleep Supply is a huge win for our patients,” Lisa Gleason, administrative director at Eastern Iowa Sleep Center, stated in a press release. “Our patients can expect seamless and coordinated care to get the equipment they need, when they need it.”

Full Operations Resume on Mercy Medical Center Campus

The MedQuarter | August 17th, 2020

Power has been restored to Mercy Medical Center and the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center. The hospital has resumed full operations and all hospital services are available.

Patients with appointments on Thurs., Aug.13 and beyond should keep their appointments at the hospital. Staff members are still reaching out to patients whose appointments will need to be rescheduled as a result of the power outages.

Mercy services that are open outside of the main hospital include:

  • Mercy’s 600 Building – Rehabilitation (use 8th St. entrance) and Palliative Care
  • All clinics in the 8th & 8th Medical Office Building
  • Physical therapy at Core Fitness in North Liberty
  • Sedlacek Treatment Center

Mercy services outside of the hospital that are not yet available include:

  • Mercy Family Counseling
  • Mercy Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Clinic at Mercy’s 901 Building
  • Physical therapy at the Mercy Health Plaza (Council St. NE), MercyCare Marion, Top Shape Gym, and MercyCare Prairie Creek

Some MercyCare Community Physician clinics are still without power. Staff members are working to reach out to patients to reschedule and will be ready for full resumption of services as soon as power is restored.

The following clinics are open or will open Thursday:

  • MercyCare North Liberty Urgent Care – open Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – and Family Practice
  • MercyCare Alberts/Cahalan
  • MercyCare Center Point
  • MercyCare Central City
  • MercyCare Employee Health Center
  • MercyCare Health Partners
  • MercyCare Internist Associates and Nephrology
  • MercyCare Medical District
  • MercyCare Monticello
  • Mercy Pediatric Center

MercyCare has also established a phone line for their patients to call regarding scheduled appointments or clinical questions.  Staff members are monitoring the phone line each day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  MercyCare patients may call (319) 398-6497.

Mercy inpatient rehabilitation program earns CARF accreditation

The MedQuarter | August 10th, 2020

CARF Gold SealCEDAR RAPIDS (Aug. 10, 2020) – Mercy Medical Center is pleased to announce that its Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) has been awarded a Three-Year Term of Accreditation from CARF International as an Adult Inpatient Medical Rehabilitation Program and Hospital Stroke Specialty Program. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body that promotes quality, value, and optimal outcomes through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement that centers on enhancing the lives of patients.

To receive the Three-Year Term of Accreditation, Mercy demonstrated adherence to the highest-level of CARF standards and put itself through a rigorous peer review process. Additionally, surveyors indicated that Mercy’s IRU staff demonstrated their commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable and of the highest quality.

Mercy began serving patients in its newly renovated, state-of-the-art IRU in 2019. The hospital had provided inpatient rehabilitation services for more than a decade, but now offers more advanced facilities to support the rehabilitation of patients that require a higher level of care, such as those with neurological injuries and diseases, including stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries. Mercy’s IRU also serves orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary patients and those with other general rehabilitation needs.

CARF surveyors noted that Mercy’s IRU leadership team is committed, energetic and dedicated to the inpatient rehabilitation program. Their report also stated, “The renovation and expansion of the inpatient rehabilitation unit have set the rehabilitation program up for great success. Leadership solicited staff member input for expansion and renovation, and the high degree of functionality of the unit is proof of that.”

For more information about the accreditation process, visit the CARF website at

About CARF

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

The History Center Opens More Days Starting in August

The MedQuarter | July 24th, 2020

We were so excited to welcome visitors back to the Douglas Mansion on Saturdays in July! And in August, we’ll be adding additional opportunities for you to visit. Next month, we will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 PM.

These guidelines will apply:

·    Reservations are encouraged (but not required) and can be made online—including prepayment

·    No more than 10 visitors will be allowed in the mansion at one time

·    The wearing of face coverings is required and The History Center will provide them to anyone who arrives without one of their own. The History Center will also have hand sanitizer readily available and will encourage its use.

·    Groups must remain six feet apart and visitors will follow a one-way path through the exhibits.

Visitors will be able to see The History Center’s new exhibit, “HERstory: Women at Work,” which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote.

Three Sister Organizations Continue Annual Tradition of Spreading Mercy in the Cedar Rapids Community

The MedQuarter | July 20th, 2020

Sister organizations Mount Mercy University, the Catherine McAuley Center and Mercy Medical Center are continuing the tradition of spreading mercy in our community.  Circle the City with Mercy is a one-day community service project with volunteers from each organization working toward a common cause.  This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations will work on the project simultaneously, each at their own locations, on Wed., July 22.

Now in its third year, the Circle the City with Mercy partners look for a unique community service project each year to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the community. The project marks the anniversary of the Sisters of Mercy’s arrival in Cedar Rapids in July 1875.

This year, beginning at 11 a.m. on July 22, team members at each of the three organizations will put together hygiene kits to be donated to the HACAP Food Reservoir.  The hygiene kits will be shared with local food pantries to give to clients in need.

“Personal care items are hard to find for many people in need,” said Kim Guardado, HACAP Food Reservoir Director. “HACAP is thrilled to partner with Circle the City to provide much needed items for families and make our community a better place for all.”

Circle the City with Mercy volunteers are committed to putting together 1,400 hygiene kits.

Prior to the kit assembly, participants will be connected through a Zoom call for a brief blessing and a message about HACAP’s work and mission in the community.

This event will be conducted in adherence with social distancing guidelines and with additional precautions in place to ensure the safety and health of volunteers.

Questions about Circle the City with Mercy may be directed to Kelsey Steines with the Catherine McAuley Center at (319) 731-0448, Karen Vander Sanden with Mercy Cedar Rapids at (319) 558-8424, or Jamie Jones with Mount Mercy University at 319-363-1323, ext. 1318.  Inquiries about HACAP may be directed to Kim Guardado at (319) 929-9874 or

Iowa Masonic Library and Museums Set to Reopen

The MedQuarter | July 17th, 2020

After closing to the public with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums will reopen to the public with a “soft” reopening on Monday July 20.

To reopen, the Iowa Masonic Library has planned for the health and well-being of visitors, researchers, students, and staff and will be taking several steps to ensure that happens.

  • The Iowa Masonic Library will be open Monday through Thursday for tours by appointment only at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please call 319-365-1438 for an appointment or email .
  • Researchers must also call or email and make an appointment to access the Library collections.
  • For tours, groups will be limited to no more than 5 per appointment.
  • All staff, volunteers, and visitors will be required to wear a mask while in the building. Disposable masks will be available for anyone that does not have one for a $1.00 donation.
  • Temperatures will be taken when visitors enter the building.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the building.
  • There will be a designated path through the museum galleries to ensure social distancing.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Iowa Masonic Library. Started by the Masons of Iowa in 1845, the Library is recognized by the Iowa Library Association as the oldest special collection in the state. The Library has been in Cedar Rapids since 1884 at the same location.

Besides the regular exhibit galleries, which include Masonic and non-Masonic collections, a new exhibit will feature a portion of the numismatic collection of the Library. This will include state of Iowa currency, Confederate currency, privately minted Civil War tokens, U.S. fractional currency, emergency currency used in Germany and Austria after World War I, and Washington related tokens.

For more information, or to schedule a tour please call 319-365-1438 or email .


Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer Announces Plans to Hold Virtual Event for its 30th Anniversary

The MedQuarter | July 17th, 2020

Plans are moving forward for the 30th annual Especially for You® (EFY) Race Against Breast Cancer. This year, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EFY race organizers are planning to hold the event virtually. Registration is open now at Additional information on the virtual format will be coming soon to the EFY website.

“The safety of our participants and our community is our top priority,” said Jeff Decker, EFY race director. “As a healthcare provider, Mercy has been closely monitoring the virus and following CDC guidelines to continue to limit its spread. This has been a guiding consideration as we put race plans in place. Most important, we will still be keeping true to our mission to help local individuals in need get the services they need.”

As always, race registration proceeds provide financial assistance for breast-care and gynecological cancer services. The EFY Fund covers breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer services at participating local medical providers. Throughout the years, the EFY Fund has helped more than 10,000 individuals in need access more than 23,000 services.  This year’s race will help EFY continue to provide those services, recognizing that breast cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19.

“These are challenging times and individuals in our community need help now more than ever,” said Dr. Vincent Reid, medical director at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center. “We look forward to supporting and honoring those who have fought the disease, as well as those individuals currently battling breast cancer. As we navigate this new normal, our goal is to celebrate the amazing sense of community that our race represents, while we continue to raise funds for breast-care and gynecological cancer services.”

Team registration is open through Sept. 15. Additional online registration is available through race day. Reduced pricing is offered for those who register early.

This year’s Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer T-shirt color is neon pink. The color was determined by the outcome of an online public poll.

Mercy Medical Center and General Mills are co-founders of the race. The race and the EFY Fund are dedicated to the memory of Sandy Knight, a Whittier resident and General Mills employee who died of breast cancer in July 1991. She helped organize Mercy’s Especially for You After Breast Cancer Support Group. Her dream was to establish a race to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and education.

For more information, visit or call the EFY race line at (319) 398-6582.

Mercy Ranks First in Iowa, and Among Top 20 U.S. Hospitals, on Lown Institute National Index

The MedQuarter | July 14th, 2020

Mercy Cedar Rapids has been ranked #1 in Iowa and 19th in the nation as a Top Hospital by the Lown Institute as part of its Hospital Index list of the nation’s top hospitals, scoring an A+ overall.

This new index honors hospitals for both their excellence in serving individual patients and for their role in advancing equity in their communities. It’s the first recognition to include metrics like inclusivity, pay equity, avoiding overuse, community benefit and civic leadership in evaluating hospital performance.

The Lown Institute is a nonpartisan think tank based in Massachusetts. This latest index compares 3,300 hospitals based on 42 performance metrics and provides a unique and holistic ranking of hospital performance.

The hospitals on the Lown ranking earned high marks in civic leadership by showing a commitment to diversity, inclusion and community health. Hospitals could also receive high value of care grades based on their low use of unnecessary services. Additionally, quality of care metrics evaluated patient safety and health outcomes.

“At this time when our community is relying on us like never before, our mission of caring for the sick and enhancing the health of the communities we serve, guided by the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, has become even more relevant,” said Tim Charles, Mercy president and CEO. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Lown Institute as Iowa’s #1 hospital. It’s also a reinforcement of our commitment to provide access to healthcare for all, as well as the excellent work provided by Mercy caregivers each and every day.”

Based on the Index measures, the state’s top 10 hospitals are:

  1. Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids
  2. Trinity Regional Medical Center, Fort Dodge
  3. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City
  4. St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, Sioux City
  5. Unity Point Health – Marshalltown
  6. Pella Regional Health Center
  7. Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa, Mason City
  8. Mercy Medical Center – Dubuque
  9. Trinity Muscatine
  10. Grinnell Regional Medical Center

The Lown Index results are available at

MercyCare Urgent Care Offers 24/7 Video Visits to Meet Patient Needs at Any Hour

The MedQuarter | July 7th, 2020

MercyCare Community Physicians is now offering patients round-the-clock urgent care video visits that address the need for care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The urgent care video visits offer patients access to local MercyCare providers at any time of the day, so healthcare needs don’t have to wait.

The video visits are as close as a patient’s cell phone or tablet. Patients have access to a local MercyCare healthcare provider through Mercy’s MyChart mobile app, connecting them with a provider in a live video chat to discuss their illness and symptoms.

The urgent care video visits are covered by most insurance carriers. Self-pay is also an option.

The service is available to patients for non-emergency, acute care  ̶  such as allergies, cough, fever, migraine, pink eye, rash, seasonal flu, sinus problems and stomachaches. After the visit, providers can even send a prescription directly to a patient’s pharmacy.

Patients should utilize a traditional clinic visit for care that requires a hands-on exam, labs or X-rays, chronic conditions, and sprains or broken bones that require bandaging.

For more information on MercyCare’s 24/7 Urgent Care video visits and how to connect through the MyChart mobile app, go to

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