Moniker 86 Social Club Goes for Modern-Day Speakeasy Vibe

The MedQuarter | March 14th, 2019

From the Corridor Business Journal – A new speakeasy-themed bar and casual restaurant will hold its soft opening just in time for St. Patrick’s Day – and co-owner Brandon Aiels is expecting the establishment’s made-from-scratch food, 1920s-inspired cocktails and old-fashioned service to fill a badly needed niche in the Cedar Rapids market.

“Cedar Rapids doesn’t even know what’s coming,” said Mr. Aiels, who will operate Moniker 86 Social Club alongside his mother Jennifer at 821 Third Ave. SE in the heart of the Cedar Rapids MedQuarter.

Located in a mansion originally built by the Carpenter family in 1870, the new eatery housed Beatty Funeral Home in the early 1920s and was renovated for restaurant use in the late ’80s, most famously as Daniel Arthur’s and what the Aiels call “the appropriately named” Six Feet Under Bar.

“We’ve redone the whole thing – paint, lighting, everything,” Mr. Aiels said. “It looks pretty freaking amazing, I’m not going to lie.”

The restaurant’s opening menu, posted on Facebook, offers a variety of dips from crab rangoon and hummus to margherita and bacon, leek and jalapeno, as well as small bites like stuffed mushrooms, turkey and pesto mini clubs and Thai chicken lettuce cups. Monicker 86 also features a full menu of Prohibition-era inspired drinks like mango and lime gin rickey and the “Cocoa Fashion,” made with rye infused with cocoa, alcoholic cherries, vanilla demerara syrup and mole bitters.

“My mother and I always wanted to open a restaurant,” said Mr. Aiels, who has years of experience in the bar and restaurant industry. “I know she’s my mom, but this is going to be the best food in Cedar Rapids with her brain and my palate. It’s going to change Cedar Rapids.”

The restaurant’s name was inspired by legendary Prohibition-era tavern, Chumley’s in New York City, where the term “86ed” was allegedly coined. Its owners, in cahoots with local police officers who would warn in advance of raids, are said to have quickly hustled patrons out of the 86 Bedford St. entrance.

During a soft opening to kick off March 17, Moniker 86 will offer a limited food and drinks menu. An official opening is planned for April 1. Once fully operational, the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunchtime delivery within the MedQuarter.

“This is going to be a place where we want people to have a good time, every time,” Mr. Aiels said.

Six Mercy Nurses Named Among 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2019

The MedQuarter | March 14th, 2019

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids is pleased to announce that six of its nurses – Connie Arens, BSN, MS; Teresa Davidson, ARNP, MSN, RN; Marci Hays, MSN, OCN, RN; Shelly Hite, RN; Amanda Pins, BSN, RN; and Nancy Shade, BSN, CAPA, RN – have been selected among the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2019.

The 100 Great Iowa Nurses award recognizes nurses who have made meaningful, lasting contributions to their patients, colleagues and the nursing profession, and who are viewed as mentors to other nursing professionals.

Mercy Award Winners

Connie Arens has been a nurse at Mercy for 22 years, currently serving as a house supervisor/patient placement. She belongs to Mercy’s emergency management, organ/tissue foundation, and clinical ladder committees, and is part of the Mercy Nursing Honor Guard, which honors former nurses who have passed away. Outside of Mercy, Connie is a board member of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight as well as the assistant medical coordinator, assisting veterans to Washington D.C. for the last four years. She has served on the Veteran Memorial Commission for five years and is a parish nurse in the community.

Teresa Davidson is a pediatric nurse practitioner and also serves as Mercy’s anti-human trafficking coordinator, a newly created position at Mercy to develop response protocols and train clinicians to be alert to the signs of human trafficking. Teresa receives referrals of human trafficking victims within the hospital as well as from outside agencies. She frequently speaks on this topic to local, state, national and even international community service providers. Shortly after Teresa was hired at Mercy, she was tasked with taking Mercy’s newborn nursery to a Level II NICU, which opened in 1996.

Marci Hays is a hospice and palliative care nurse with Hospice of Mercy. Previously, Marci worked in a cancer clinic for 13 years, offering support and care to patients and their families as they made their way through the cancer journey, and ultimately serving as clinic manager. Utilizing those same skills, Marci has helped to develop policies and procedures at Mercy to improve patient access to the palliative care staff through the use of clinic time and nursing visits at home. She mentors and leads new staff as they care for patients struggling with chronic illness and mortality.

Shelly Hite, a Mercy nurse for 25 years, is a clinical documentation educator in Mercy’s Organizational Development department. She has used her nursing skills in this role to educate staff on the use of the electronic medical record, contribute to policy-writing committees, and help managers identify solutions for common nursing issues. As a nursing leader, Shelly has led many initiatives and provided ongoing education. She is currently pursuing her BSN. Her nominator said her unwavering dedication to patient safety and nurse education is unmatched.

Amanda Pins is a nurse clinician with Mercy’s Memory Disorders Clinic, demonstrating extraordinary care and compassion for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families. She continually researches and looks for best practices on providing the very best clinical care for those along the dementia journey. She is active with the Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter, serving as a member of its leadership board as well as facilitating support groups. She has also been the chair of the Cedar Rapids Walk to End Alzheimer’s for six years and has created other fundraising events. As a community advocate, Amanda has worked with state and national lawmakers to increase awareness and funding for research for Alzheimer’s and dementia. She has been with Mercy for 20 years.

Nancy Shade has been a nurse at Mercy for 40 years, consistently advancing through the organization and currently serving as nurse manager of pre-operative and outpatient surgical care; she has been certified for 15 years in her specialty of perioperative nursing. Her commitment to Mercy is evident by her active role on numerous committees. Nancy is committed to patient excellence through advocating for system-wide, continuous improvement. In addition to her daily managerial responsibilities, Nancy has been a team captain for the Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer for 10 years.

The six Mercy nurses will be among the nurses honored in Des Moines in May at the annual celebration of 100 Great Iowa Nurses.

Iowa Hospitals Named to the 293 Hospitals with 5 Stars from CMS

The MedQuarter | March 8th, 2019

CMS updated its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings in February, recognizing 293 hospitals with five stars.

CMS’ Hospital Compare website reports on quality measures for more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. Here is a breakdown of the updated star ratings:
• One star: 282 hospitals
• Two stars: 800 hospitals
• Three stars: 1,264 hospitals
• Four stars: 1,086 hospitals
• Five stars: 293 hospitals

The new star ratings come eight months after CMS postponed its July 2018 update for the second consecutive year due to methodology changes. The updated methodology includes removal of measures with statistically negative loadings and a change to how hospital-acquired infection measures are calculated.

Iowa Specialty Hospital-Belmond
Greater Regional Medical Center (Creston)
Mercy Hospital (Iowa City)
Mercy Medical Center-Cedar Rapids
Montgomery County Memorial Hospital (Red Oak)
St. Luke’s Hospital (Cedar Rapids)
Veterans Memorial Hospital (Waukon)

Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital named IBM Watson Top 100 Hospitals

The MedQuarter | March 4th, 2019

IBM Watson Health Announces 100 Top Hospitals

2019 Study Finds Top-Performing U.S. Hospitals Provide Better Care at Lower Cost and Higher Profit Margins than Peers Evaluated in the Study

Mar 04, 2019 ARMONK, N.Y., March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — IBM Watson Health™ (NYSE: IBM) today published its 100 Top Hospitals® annual study identifying top–performing hospitals in the U.S. This study spotlights the best–performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard using publicly available data for clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction metrics. The study is part of IBM Watson Health’s commitment to leveraging science and data to advance health and it has been conducted annually since 1993.

Overall, the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study found that the top-performing hospitals in the country achieved better risk-adjusted outcomes while maintaining both a lower average cost per patient and higher profit margin than peer group hospitals that were part of the study.

“At a time when research shows that the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, yet has less effective population health outcomes1, the 100 Top Hospitals are setting a different example by delivering consistently better care at a lower cost,” said Ekta Punwani, 100 Top Hospitals® program leader at IBM Watson Health.

Kyu Rhee, M.D., M.P.P., vice president and chief health officer at IBM Watson Health, added: “From small community hospitals to major teaching hospitals, these diverse hospitals have demonstrated that quality care, higher patient satisfaction, and operational efficiency can be achieved together. In this era of big data, analytics, transparency, and patient empowerment, it is essential that we learn from these leading hospitals and work to spread their best practices to our entire health system which could translate into over 100K more lives saved, nearly 40K less complications, over 150K fewer readmissions, and over $8 billion in savings.”

Following were the key performance measurements on which 100 Top Hospitals showed the most significant average outperformance versus non-winning peer group hospitals (full study results available here):

  • Higher Survival Rates:The 100 Top Hospitals winners achieved survival rates that were 24.9 percent higher than those of peer hospitals.
  • Fewer Complications and Infections: Patients at winning hospitals experienced 18.7 percent fewer complications and 19.3 percent fewer healthcare-associated infections than peer group hospitals.
  • Shorter Length of Stay:Winning hospitals had a median severity-adjusted length of stay that was one half-day shorter (0.5) than peers.
  • Shorter Emergency Department Wait Times: Overall, winning hospitals delivered median emergency department wait times that were 17.3 minutes shorter than those of peer group hospitals.
  • Lower Inpatient Expenses: Average inpatient costs per discharge were 11.9 percent lower (a difference of $830 per discharge) at 100 Top Hospitals versus peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Profit Overall Margins: Winning hospitals maintained a median operating profit margin that was 11.9 percentage points higher than peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Patient Satisfaction: Overall hospital experience, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), was rated 3 percent higher for winning hospitals than peer group hospitals.

The IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals winners outperformed peer group hospitals within all 10 clinical and operational performance benchmarks evaluated in the study: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, mean healthcare-associated infection index, mean 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rate, mean 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted length of stay, mean emergency department throughput, case mix- and wage-adjusted inpatient expense per discharge, adjusted operating profit margin, and HCAHPS score.

Extrapolating the results of this year’s study, if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 103,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 38,000 additional patients could be complication-free;
  • More than $8.2 billion in inpatient costs could be saved; and
  • Approximately 155,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days.

In addition to the 100 Top Hospitals, the IBM Watson Health study also recognizes the 100 Top Hospitals Everest Award winners. These are hospitals that earned the 100 Top Hospitals designation and also are among the 100 top for rate of improvement during a five-year period. This year, there are 15 Everest Award winners.

To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 3,156 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply for awards, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

For more information, visit

Here are the winning hospitals, by category, with asterisks indicating the Everest Award winners:

Major Teaching Hospitals

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center – Chicago, IL
Ascension Providence Hospital  – Southfield, MI
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Los Angeles, CA
Garden City Hospital – Garden City, MI*
Mayo Clinic Hospital – Jacksonville, FL
Mount Sinai Medical Center – Miami Beach, FL
NorthShore University HealthSystem – Evanston, IL
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center – Hartford, CT
Spectrum Health Hospitals – Grand Rapids, MI
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital – Ann Arbor, MI*
St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem – Bethlehem, PA
The Miriam Hospital – Providence, RI
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital – Aurora, CO*
University of Utah Hospital – Salt Lake City, UT

Teaching Hospitals

Abbott Northwestern Hospital – Minneapolis, MN
Aspirus Wausau Hospital – Wausau, WI
Brandon Regional Hospital – Brandon, FL
BSA Health System – Amarillo, TX
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System – Texarkana, TX*
Good Samaritan Hospital – Cincinnati, OH
Lakeland Medical Center – St. Joseph, MI
Mercy Hospital St. Louis – St. Louis, MO
Monmouth Medical Center – Long Branch, NJ
Morton Plant Hospital – Clearwater, FL
Mount Carmel St. Ann’s – Westerville, OH
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital – St. Louis Park, MN
Parkview Regional Medical Center – Fort Wayne, IN*
PIH Health Hospital – Whittier – Whittier, CA
Riverside Medical Center – Kankakee, IL
Rose Medical Center – Denver, CO*
Sentara Leigh Hospital – Norfolk, VA*
Sky Ridge Medical Center – Lone Tree, CO
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison – Madison, WI
St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids, IA
St. Mark’s Hospital – Salt Lake City, UT*
Sycamore Medical Center – Miamisburg, OH
UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital – Fort Collins, CO
Utah Valley Hospital – Provo, UT*
West Penn Hospital – Pittsburgh, PA

Large Community Hospitals

Advocate Sherman Hospital – Elgin, IL*
Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center – Sun City West, AZ
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine – Grapevine, TX
Hoag Hospital Newport Beach – Newport Beach, CA
IU Health Bloomington Hospital – Bloomington, IN*
Mease Countryside Hospital – Safety Harbor, FL
Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center – Houston, TX
Mercy Health – Anderson Hospital – Cincinnati, OH
Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center – Lima, OH
Mercy Hospital  – Coon Rapids, MN
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City – Oklahoma City, OK
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital – Winfield, IL
Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Sarasota, FL
Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla – La Jolla, CA
St. Clair Hospital – Pittsburgh, PA
St. David’s Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. Joseph’s Hospital – Tampa, FL*
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth – Fort Worth, TX
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center – Towson, MD
WellStar West Georgia Medical Center – LaGrange, GA

Medium Community Hospitals

AdventHealth Wesley Chapel – Wesley Chapel, FL
Dupont Hospital – Fort Wayne, IN
East Cooper Medical Center – Mt. Pleasant, SC
East Liverpool City Hospital – East Liverpool, OH*
Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center  – Garden Grove, CA
IU Health North Hospital – Carmel, IN
IU Health West Hospital – Avon, IN
Logan Regional Hospital – Logan, UT
Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital – Katy, TX
Mercy Health – Clermont Hospital – Batavia, OH
Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas – Rogers, AR
Mercy Medical Center – Cedar Rapids, IA
Montclair Hospital Medical Center – Montclair, CA
Mountain View Hospital – Payson, UT
Northwest Medicine Delnor Hospital – Geneva, IL
St. Luke’s Anderson Campus – Easton, PA
St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County – Middleburg, FL
UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies – Loveland, CO
West Valley Medical Center – Caldwell, ID
Wooster Community Hospital – Wooster, OH

Small Community Hospitals

Alta View Hospital – Sandy, UT
Aurora Medical Center – Two Rivers, WI
Brigham City Community Hospital – Brigham City, UT
Buffalo Hospital – Buffalo, MN
Cedar City Hospital – Cedar City, UT
Hill Country Memorial Hospital – Fredericksburg, TX
Lakeview Hospital – Bountiful, UT
Lone Peak Hospital – Draper, UT
Marshfield Medical Center – Rice Lake, WI
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital – Seaford, DE
Parkview Noble Hospital – Kendallville, IN
Parkview Whitley Hospital – Columbia City, IN*
Piedmont Mountainside Hospital – Jasper, GA
San Dimas Community Hospital – San Dimas, CA
Seton Medical Center Harker Heights – Harker Heights, TX
Southern Tennessee Regional Health System – Lawrenceburg, TN
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital – Zeeland, MI
St. John Owasso Hospital – Owasso, OK
St. Luke’s Hospital – Quakertown – Quakertown, PA
Stillwater Medical Center – Stillwater, OK*

About the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® Program

The IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals, formerly the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals, program uses independent and objective research to analyze hospital and health system performance. Organizations do not apply or pay for this honor or pay to promote their award. Award-winning hospitals and health systems prove that better care is possible and provide an example for other organizations to follow across the industry. The 100 Top Hospitals award winners demonstrate top performance on both how patients are cared for under clinical measures and how the hospital performs as an efficient business. 100 Top Hospitals is a registered trademark of Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health business. Visit for more information.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest health care challenges, including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more. Learn more.

Mercy Donates AEDs to Area Organizations, Schools, Churches

The MedQuarter | February 18th, 2019

Mercy Medical Center is donating Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to 10 area churches, schools and community organizations in the coming weeks, bringing the number of AEDs the hospital has donated to 61 since the program began in 2014.

AEDs are portable devices that check heart rhythm and treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). When needed, an AED can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. The AEDs will be placed in readily accessible locations at each site to be used in case of an emergency.

The AED donation program at Mercy is designed to equip local non-profits demonstrating financial need with the life-saving devices. The non-profits must also exhibit a need for AED coverage for their facility and participate in an application process.

Mercy is partnering with ThinkSafe, based in Cedar Rapids, to make the AEDs available for donation.

According to the American Heart Association, SCA kills more people every year than strokes, AIDS and breast cancer. A key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA.

Kathy’s Pies Changes Hands After 33 Years

The MedQuarter | February 14th, 2019

New Kathy’s Pies owner Amy Jordan and former owners Kathy McCauley and Terri Henecke. PHOTO DAN MIKA

Kathy’s Pies, a longtime bakery near downtown Cedar Rapids, has a new family at the helm.

New owner Amy Jordan told the CBJ she closed on a deal to purchase the business, located at 616 Fifth Ave. SE, from former owners Terri Henecke and Kathy McCauley on Feb. 1.

The building itself was not part of the deal, as Mercy Medical Center owns the property and is leasing it to the bakery.

The bakery’s owners put the store up for sale early last year, 33 years after Ms. McCauley and Ms. Henecke’s father opened it. The listing didn’t receive much interest until a series of news stories in late November caught fire on social media and caught the attention of prospective buyers.

Ms. McCauley said she met with 13 groups about making a sale since November, while her real estate agent received 30 offers.

Ms. Jordan spent most of her professional life in human resources, but acquired an in-home bakery license last May with the goal of opening a storefront in North Liberty or Coralville with the next two years.

When she heard about the store coming up for sale, she immediately began to put together a bid. Ms. Jordan won because she was the fastest to make an acceptable offer, Ms. McCauley said.

Read the full story in the digital edition of the CBJ.

Mercy Donates AEDs to Area Organizations, Schools & Churches

The MedQuarter | February 13th, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS (Feb. 11, 2019) – Mercy Medical Center is donating Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to 10 area churches, schools and community organizations in the coming weeks, bringing the number of AEDs the hospital has donated to 61 since the program began in 2014.

AEDs are portable devices that check heart rhythm and treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).  When needed, an AED can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. The AEDs will be placed in readily accessible locations at each site, to be used in case of an emergency.

The AED donation program at Mercy is designed to equip local non-profits demonstrating financial need with the life-saving devices.  The non-profits must also exhibit a need for AED coverage for their facility and participate in an application process.

Presentation of the AEDs will take place at the following times and locations in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities:

Friday, February 15 

Calvary Baptist Church 8:45 a.m. – 5338 Johnson Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Arc of East Central Iowa – 10 a.m. – 680 2nd St. SE, Suite 200, Cedar Rapids

St. Ludmila’s Church – 11a.m. – 2107 J St. SW, Cedar Rapids

United Church of Christ Central City – 1 p.m. – 38 N Main St., Central City, Iowa

Marion First United Church – 2:15 p.m.- 5050 R.E.C. Dr., Marion

New City Church – 3:30 p.m. – 5335 Midway Dr. NW, Cedar Rapids


Wednesday, February 27

 ASAC – 8:30 a.m. – 3601 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Veteran Memorial Commission – 10 a.m. – 50 2nd Ave, Cedar Rapids

Shellsburg Fire Department – 2 p.m. – 101 Pearl St., Shellsburg


Monday, March 4

 Marion Independent School District – 3 p.m. – 675 S. 15th St., Marion

Mercy is partnering with ThinkSafe, based in Cedar Rapids, to make the AEDs available for donation.

According to the American Heart Association, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) kills more people every year than strokes, AIDS and breast cancer.   A key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA.

Improving Facades in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District

The MedQuarter | December 20th, 2018

A number of storefronts in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District saw updates in 2018 thanks to the MedQuarter Facade Improvement Program. Since the Program’s inception in 2015, the MedQuarter, in partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids, has been making funds available to property owners and businesses located within the District for qualifying exterior improvements up to $10,000. To date the program has supported eight projects with awards totaling over $44,000.

Projects completed in 2018 include:

  • 808 Third Avenue SE building – Building owners Richard & Marlyce Larson performed exterior improvements to the newly exposed west side of their building including a two-tone paint design. Tenants Gilded Pear gallery and Kor are located here.

  • 1233 First Avenue SE building – Building owner John Wasta had a new metal façade installed. This building houses the First Avenue Executive Suites where the Better Business Bureau, SYNERGY HomeCare and Cedar Rapids Police Substation are located.

  • The History Center (800 Second Avenue SE) – Two grants were awarded for the significant historic renovation of the Douglas Mansion, including he brick perimeter wall along Eighth Street and the front porch facing Second Avenue SE.

Helping property owners improve the public-facing portions of their buildings creates a more inviting district for visitors. The Medical SSMID Commission recently approved another round of funding for their Façade Improvement Program for 2019. If you’re a property and/or business owner in the MedQuarter interested in applying for the program, head to or contact MedQuarter Executive Director Phil Wasta at

Mercy acquires Pediatric HAL®: the latest and most advanced pediatric simulator

The MedQuarter | November 26th, 2018

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (November 26, 2018) – Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids has acquired PediatricHAL®, the latest and most advanced pediatric patient simulator.  Mercy is among the first hospitals in the Midwest to put HAL to work to help train its nurses, doctors and healthcare students, and improve their pediatric care.

Pediatric HAL,developed by Gaumard Scientific Company, is designed to help healthcare students and professionals at all levels develop the specialized skills needed to effectively communicate with, diagnose and treat young patients throughout the continuum of care.

While a young child may have trouble explaining medical symptoms, a quick look at the simulator’s facial expressions – as well as his verbal and non-verbal cues – can reveal much about anxiety and pain.

Pediatric HAL isthe first patient simulator capable of simulating lifelike facial expressions, emotions and moods, including anxiety, anger, amazement, pain and more.  

“With Pediatric HAL, our healthcare students and providers can practice handling difficult situations, such as how to diagnose and communicate a serious medical issue to a young child,” said Tracy Wilson, Mercy’s Nurse Residency Program Manager.  “We feel fortunate to have this highly advanced patient simulator as another training tool.  It will help learners develop a wide range of skills through an interactive patient-provider experience.”

With the recent addition of HAL, Mercy now has five high-fidelity simulators for advanced training purposes.  In addition to on-site training at Mercy, Wilson has taken the simulators to nursing fairs at area colleges.

She says learners can perform a full range of emergency procedures on HAL, including surgical airway, needle decompression, and chest tube thoracostomy with a high degree of realism.

Pediatric HAL includes 10 scenarios designed to replicate a variety of clinical situations throughout the spectrum of pediatric care.

To learn more about Pediatric HAL and watch a video, visit

Wayfinding Signage Comes to the MedQuarter this Fall

The MedQuarter | October 24th, 2018

The MedQuarter Regional Medical District will soon be easier to navigate with the installation of a wayfinding system. The initiative, which began three years ago, creates a comprehensive vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding system for Cedar Rapids’ core districts of Downtown, including Kingston Village, the MedQuarter and Czech Village/New Bohemia.

This Fall, the MedQuarter’s 18 vehicular signs will be installed throughout the district starting at the 7th Street exit off south bound I-380, along 7th Street SE, along 8th Avenue SE, along 10th Street SE and along 1st Avenue SE & NE. The signs will direct visitors to major arteries, anchor institutions, districts and public destinations both within and outside of the MedQuarter. Spots include Mt. Vernon Road, Coe College, Mercy Medical Center, Physicians’ Clinic, St. Luke’s Hospital, Czech Village, Downtown, New Bohemia, the U.S. Cellular Convention Center, Greene Square, Museum of Art, Paramount Theatre and the Public Library.

“I’m excited to get this project off the drawing board and into our core districts,” said Matt Myers, Traffic Engineering Manager and City Traffic Engineer for the City of Cedar Rapids. “The City recognizes the value of enhanced signage and I have enjoyed working with the core districts in creating a system that meets their diverse needs.”

The remaining portions of the signage for the MedQuarter, Downtown, Kingston Village and Czech Village/New Bohemia will be manufactured and installed as funding becomes available. The City is in the process of budgeting for the entire system and is working on a state grant application that may assist with the cost. Installation of the full system will fulfill the vision of implementing a wayfinding system that assists drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to navigate within and between the city’s core districts. In the meantime, this is an important first step.

The creation of the comprehensive wayfinding system has been a collaborative effort between the Downtown District, MedQuarter Regional Medical District, Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District, GO Cedar Rapids and the City of Cedar Rapids and included many hours of planning, location assessment, wayfinding analysis, public input and design revisions to create the final system.