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East Bound A Ave Closed May 21

The MedQuarter | May 20th, 2019

East bound A Ave will be CLOSED for road work Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00 a.m. – June 11, 2019.

See red-lined closure area.

The MedQuarter: Summer in the Q

The MedQuarter | May 14th, 2019

Did you know that more than 6,000 people are employed within the MedQuarter Regional Medical District in Cedar Rapids? Between large and small employers alike, there’s both a professional medical community and community at large to engage. This summer, the MedQuarter Regional Medical District invites all of those community members to participate in FREE, healthy and fun events right in the District!

A new event series called Summer in the Q offers one community engagement opportunity in the District each month. Events range from a 12-Week Walk Challenge to free lunches in celebration of the District’s 8th anniversary.

MAY
The MedQ Mile 12-Week Walk Challenge kicks off on Monday, May 20. Participants of the Challenge can enter the weekly opportunity to win prizes by taking photos of themselves walking on the MedQ Mile and posting them to MedQ’s Facebook page. Weekly winners will receive gift cards to a restaurant, bar or retail location within the MedQuarter. The 12 weekly Challenge winners will be considered finalists in the drawing for the Grand Prize, which will be drawn during the August 8 event. Rules an d guidelines for the 12-Week Walk Challenge can be found here.

JUNE
Saturday, June 15 – PCI Art Show & Sale / Cedar Rapids Fire Department Open House / Historic Preservation Showcase 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa will transform their Medical Pavilion at 202 10th Street SE into eastern Iowa’s premier art gallery featuring fine art, pottery, jewelry, glass art, fiber art and photography from more than 50 local artists.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department will host an open house at the Central Fire Station, 713 1st Avenue SE, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Fire Department.

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The History Center at 800 2nd Avenue SE will be the epicenter for the “Preservation in Motion” event including free walking tours, bus tours and workshops at the Masonic Library, History Center, Genealogical Society and Ausadie Building.

JULY
Thursday, July 25 – Coffee & Sunrise Yoga in the MedQ Park on 3rd
Join us for free coffee and a sunrise yoga session at 6:00 a.m. to start your morning with a peaceful workout before heading to work.

AUGUST
Thursday, August 8 – MedQ Mile 12-Week Walk Challenge Finale
It’s your last chance to walk and participate in the Walk Challenge. Join us over your lunch hour (from 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.) for a one mile walk around the MedQ Mile before the last of the prizes and Grand Prize giveaway from the 12-Week Challenge. We’ll announce the week’s winner and the Grand Prize at 12:45 p.m. in the MedQ Park on 3rd. Participants must be present to win.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday, September 19 – MedQuarter’s Celebr8tory Anniversary Lunch
There is such thing as a free lunch and it’s on the MedQ! Celebrate the District’s eight anniversary as we offer 100 free grab & go lunches in the MedQ Park on 3rd (located on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Eighth Street SE). Lunches are first come, first serve. September is the MedQuarter’s anniversary month, as the Cedar Rapids City Council officially approved establishing a medical district in Cedar Rapids on September 27, 2011. Learn about accomplishments of the MedQuarter Regional Medical District over the last eight years.

Cedar Rapids’ Core Districts Collaborate to Support New City Bike Share Program

The MedQuarter | May 13th, 2019

May 08, 2019

The City of Cedar Rapids recently announced the first bike share program, which will feature electric-assist bikes and later this year, electric scooters. With the inclusion of a fleet of 150 e-bikes, with 90 bike rack stations throughout Cedar Rapids’ core districts, leaders of each Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) are collaborating to support the new program.

Funding for free bike helmets and educational safety videos, currently being filmed and created by Iowa BIG students, were made possible through contributions from each district including the Downtown SSMID, the MedQuarter SSMID and the Czech Village/New Bohemia SSMID as well as the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

“As a partner with all three of Cedar Rapids’ core district SSMIDs, the Economic Alliance strives to bring collaboration among all district leaders on long-term strategic plans as well as tactical priorities,” said Doug Neumann, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “This bike share program became the perfect opportunity to execute on that collaborative spirit.”

This is the second time in the core districts’ histories that all have worked together on a single project. The first collaboration was the 2016 Flood Threat sandbag assistance and sandbag removal efforts, and now the support of the City’s bike share program.

Bike share stations and several new on-street bicycle facilities were provided by a generous match grant from the Wellmark Foundation in support of the new program. The full fleet of custom green e-bikes will arrive later this summer. Approximately 20 stations will be operational by May 13, and the locations of each can be found at cityofcr.com/bikeshare.

“The opportunity to increase a community-wide healthy habit like biking, paired with the opportunity to increase the interconnectedness of all the core districts, aligned perfectly and positively with the MedQuarter,” said Phil Wasta, Executive Director, MedQuarter.

Each District’s logo and branding will appear on the free bike helmets to be given away at the City’s May 13 Bike Share Kick-Off Party, as well as on select bike racks throughout the districts.

“The Czech Village/New Bohemia District appreciates the forward-thinking and proactive City staff who have worked hard to bring this new opportunity to our district,” said Craig Byers, Commission Chair, Czech Village/New Bohemia. “The City of Cedar Rapids deserves a lot of credit and we were proud as a Commission to be able to support the effort.”

“As Downtown sits in the middle of all core districts, we’re thrilled to showcase our vibrant district and continue being the connector for bikers to travel to, and between the MedQuarter, Kingston Village and the Czech Village/New Bohemia districts,” said Jesse Thoeming, Executive Director, Downtown.

Bike Share Program Stations Map - 5-13-19 (PDF)

PCI Medical Pavilion – Eastern Iowa Sleep Center Announce Agreement

The MedQuarter | May 6th, 2019

Representatives of Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa (PCI) Medical Pavilion and the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center (EISC) solidified an agreement that will result in a modern new space for EISC and convenient continuity of care for eastern Iowans with difficulty sleeping.

“The Eastern Iowa Sleep Center signed a long-term lease to occupy space in our new Medical Pavilion II building, currently under construction,” said Michael Sundall, Chief Executive Officer at PCI. “PCI’s Neurology and Sleep Medicine clinic will co-locate on the same floor, creating a seamless experience for patients. Not only will patients be able to see their clinician and access all the needed services in one location, but the sleep medicine staff from both entities will enjoy greater ability to cooperate and coordinate treatment.”

EISC, an independent diagnostic testing facility, was created in 2007 as a partnership between PCI, UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. More than 100 In-Lab and Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT) studies per week are conducted by EISC, located in Mercy Medical Center’s 600 7th Street Building.

PCI’s Neurology and Sleep Medicine providers have been major utilizers of EISC, conducting numerous sleep studies and treating patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, sleepwalking, insomnia, narcolepsy, nocturnal seizures, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movements.

When PCI Medical Pavilion II is complete in 2020, EISC’s new modern sleep laboratory will house 12 In-Lab patient sleep study rooms, 5 offices for staff, and today’s cutting edge In-Lab and HSAT sleep study technology. “This is a terrific opportunity for EISC to bring sleep medicine care to a new level,” said Lisa Gleason, Administrative Director of EISC. “Upgraded, ultra-modern features and new technology will provide patients with the excellent care they deserve from both EISC and PCI.”

PCI Medical Pavilion II is expected to be complete in late 2019, with a grand opening early in 2020. The new 100,000 square foot medical structure is the second “medical mall” concept spearheaded by PCI. PCI Medical Pavilion I opened in 2013 and was the first of its kind in eastern Iowa, bringing together specialty healthcare clinics and complementary services under one roof.

“The vision behind PCI Medical Pavilions I and II has always been patient convenience,” Sundall said. “We are diligent in locating new and unique ways to make our patients’ experiences with us as streamlined and coordinated as possible. This new venture with EISC fits perfectly with that vision—and positions Cedar Rapids and the Medical Quarter where we’re located as Iowa’s premiere medical destination.”

MedQ: An Easy Choice for Cancer Care

The MedQuarter | April 30th, 2019

Jenny HaverlyJenny Haverly of Anamosa had her first mammogram in September 2016. The screening revealed a suspicious area on her right side. It was Stage 1 invasive lobular breast cancer.

“Receiving that diagnosis was devastating. It stops you in your tracks, drops you to your knees and takes your breath away,” Jenny said.

Jenny chose the MedQuarter for cancer care. She was treated at the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center and the Women’s Breast and Bone Center, located in the PCI Medical Pavilion.

It was an easy decision.

As a NICU and pediatrics nurse for 19 years at St. Luke’s Hospital, Jenny knew firsthand the quality of care that the MedQ has to offer. She already knew many of the doctors on her cancer care team, and her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years before, had also chosen the MedQ for her care.

“I consider myself very knowledgeable about the healthcare world and about the path that breast cancer patients take since my mom had just been through it, and it was still all very overwhelming to me,” Jenny said.

All the Care Jenny Needed

The compassion of Jenny’s healthcare team in the MedQ was key to working through it. “From the minute you walk in they know what you’re going through, they know how to help you, and they know how to start from the beginning and take you through the process,” she said.

In October 2016, Jenny had a bilateral mastectomy, followed by four rounds of chemo – which were briefly delayed by a bout of pneumonia. She also had a body device that would inject her regularly with medicine to keep up her white blood cell count.

“I need to give a shoutout to Amy, one of the Infusion nurses at the Cancer Center. She was there for each of my IV doses of chemo. We got along well, and I felt very comforted by her presence each time I had to have chemo,” Jenny said.

Jenny said all the staff acted as an additional support system that “was crucial for my peace of mind.”

“The staff all deal with a very difficult aspect of life, dealing with cancer patients, day in and day out, and they handled it well. When I needed silence, they let me have silence. When I needed a laugh, they provided it. When I needed comfort, they were there,” Jenny said.

Throughout each week, Jenny had multiple appointments — surgeon, oncologist, lab. She appreciated that her treatment center was close to work and home and that all of her care specialists and services were located in one building.

Though Jenny and her mom, Jan, each had different forms of breast cancer, they wanted to know whether they carried the breast cancer gene. With two sons and a daughter, Jenny worried her children may be at risk.

So she decided to do genetic testing at PCI. “The peace of mind we were able to get from the genetic testing was wonderful,” Jenny said.

Today Jenny is doing well, with no evidence of disease. Her words of encouragement for other cancer patients? Trust your healthcare team.

“Take it one day at a time. Listen to the healthcare team; they know what they’re doing. They know how to help you. Everything is all right there — everything you need to get through your journey is all right there.”

New Collaboration in Linn County Aims to Improve Health Outcomes

The MedQuarter | April 26th, 2019

Linn County Public Health, in partnership with 19 area agencies, today announced a new collaboration aimed at enhancing communications among independent health and social service organizations to provide better care and measurable improvements in health outcomes.

The collaboration, called My Care Community, is based on a nationally-recognized model and is the first of its kind in Iowa. It allows participating service providers to coordinate services needed to improve the health and wellbeing of area residents who have chosen to join the program. As a result, providers can make seamless referrals to outside organizations, better anticipate the future needs of clients, and improve quality of life for families.

“My Care Community is an innovative model, nationally recognized for its ability to improve health outcomes,” said Pramod Dwivedi, Health Director at Linn County Public Health. “This will be a win both for the organizations that are part of our network, and for the people who rely on their services.”

For clients, My Care Community will reduce much of the paperwork, back-and-forth calls and repeated appointments that normally accompany the referral process. Through the network, clients will stay connected to services and programs that address a range of needs for the whole family, from medical treatment to mental health counseling, homelessness prevention and more. My Care Community will be open to all local residents, and there will be no prerequisites or eligibility requirements for using the service.

Jamie Henley, My Care Community Chair and Community Health Free Clinic Chief Operating Officer, said, “This level of collaboration between this many organizations is almost unheard of. These dedicated professionals have been working diligently for nearly three years, and we are excited to bring this enhancement to the clients we serve to improve lives and health outcomes.”

My Care Community is self-funded by the participating organizations. The collaboration continues to expand and add organizations. A complete list of members and additional information can be found at mycarelinnco.org.

Founding Members include:

  • Abbe Center for Community Mental Health*
  • Area Ambulance Service
  • Area Substance Abuse Council*
  • CarePro Health Services
  • Community Health Free Clinic*
  • Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region*
  • Eastern Iowa Health Center*
  • Foundation 2*
  • Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP)*
  • Heritage Area Agency on Aging
  • His Hands Free Medical Clinic
  • Horizons, A Family Service Alliance*
  • Linn County Public Health*
  • Mercy Medical Center*
  • Metro Care Connection – Cedar Rapids Community School District
  • Tanager Place*
  • UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Cedar Rapids*
  • United Way of East Central Iowa*
  • Waypoint Services
  • YMCA

*Denotes Steering Committee member.

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Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 220,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.

Registration is Open for the 2019 “Especially for You” Race Against Breast Cancer

The MedQuarter | April 26th, 2019

Registration for the 29th annual Especially for You® (EFY) Race Against Breast Cancer is now open at www.especiallyforyourace.org.  Race day is Sunday, Oct. 6.

Team registration is open through Sept. 9.  Individuals may register up until 7:30 a.m. on race day.  Reduced pricing is offered for those who register early. Race organizers expect more than 15,000 registrations this year.

The race proceeds provide financial assistance for breast-care and gynecological cancer services to local individuals in need.  The EFY Fund now covers breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer services at participating local medical providers.  The EFY fund has helped more than 10,000 individuals with access to more than 21,000 services.

Co-founders of the race are Mercy Medical Center and General Mills. Those who register for the race receive an EFY T-shirt and a General Mills goodie bag.  This year’s race T-shirt color is maroon, as determined by the outcome of public voting from the EFY website and social media sites.

The race and the 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 www.especiallyforyourace.org or call the EFY race line at (319) 398-6582.

Facing a Tough Diagnosis

The MedQuarter | March 29th, 2019

David CahalanDavid Cahalan, a retired junior high educator now living in Williamsburg, just knew something was a little off with his sore throat.

It was August 2018. David visited a walk-in clinic and was told his sore throat was just allergies, but he knew it had to be something else. He’d never had allergies before. David was given a prescription, but the medicine didn’t seem to help.

He then visited his internist and was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist – the very next day.

At the ENT, biopsies were taken, and a scope was done on his throat. The doctor told David and his wife, Jodi, that he had Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer, on the right tonsil.

Treatment Journey Begins

Deciding where to receive treatment was easy. David is a longtime patient in the MedQuarter. When he had a heart attack five years ago, David said he essentially died, and the care team at Mercy Medical Center brought him back.

“I am here because of the ‘Q,’ ” he said.

MedQ – a unique urban medical community in the heart of Cedar Rapids – is home to two 2019 IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals and more than 500 medical professionals providing a full range of medical care, all within 55 city blocks.

The broad spectrum of quality healthcare available within MedQ meant David could get the cancer care he needed close to home in eastern Iowa.

David and Jodi traveled from Williamsburg to the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center from September to December 2018. He had radiation treatments for seven weeks, five days a week, 15 minutes each. He also had three chemotherapy sessions, which lasted four hours each, during the same time period.

His cancer is now in remission.

Fighting Cancer with Positive Care

David gives credit to the staff at Hall Perrine Cancer Center for making his experience a more comfortable and positive one.

“The staff were excellent. They treated me with kindness and respect. For them, it wasn’t just a job. They knew what they were doing and acted like they wanted to be there. The staff always had smiles on their faces, and they were easy to get along with,” said David.

David was able to “ring the bell,” a treasured Hall Perrine tradition for cancer patients as they complete treatment. The ringing of the bell was in honor of all the caring people around him, including his wife and caregiver, other patients, and doctors studying and looking for cures.

These days, David is doing well and enjoying time in his woodshop, taking walks in the woods and playing with his grandchildren.

For other MedQ cancer patients still in treatment, David offers some words of wisdom: “It’s a long, difficult road, but if you listen and do what you are told to do, you will survive it. There’s nothing that’s easy, but the name of the game is to survive – and it will get better.”

Mercy Cedar Rapids Receives Five-Star CMS Rating

The MedQuarter | March 20th, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (March 20, 2019) – Mercy Cedar Rapids has received a five-star quality rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The national ratings are designated as one through five stars, with five being the highest and three being the national average score.

Of the more than 4,500 hospitals evaluated by CMS, only 337, or about seven percent, received five-star ratings.

CMS evaluates hospitals on up to 57 quality measures to calculate the star rating.  The quality measures include outcomes, readmission rates, patient experience and other factors for its Hospital Compare online rankings.  The rankings are aimed at giving consumers another tool as they make decisions about their healthcare.

“We’re honored to be recognized by CMS for the award-winning healthcare we provide to our patients,” said Tim Charles, Mercy’s president and CEO.  “The rating is an accurate reflection of the caliber of professionals, resources and services to which we have been dedicated for more than a century.”

Mercy consistently earns top marks for its clinical quality.  The CMS five-star rating comes on the heels of Mercy being named on the 100 Top Hospitals list by IBM Watson Health for the seventh consecutive year.

For more information about the CMS Hospital Compare ratings, visit www.medicare.gov.

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.