Blog - MedQ

Mercy Medical Center Partners with U.S. Renal Care

The MedQuarter | July 1st, 2020

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids announces its partnership with U.S. Renal Care to enhance and grow the dialysis care that Mercy provides. The partnership begins today, operating under the name, Mercy Dialysis.

U.S. Renal Care, a leading provider of dialysis services for patients living with kidney disease, is the third-largest dialysis provider in the United States and operates more than 339 outpatient, home and specialty dialysis programs across 31 states. By sharing best practices, Mercy, in partnership with U.S. Renal Care, can build upon its already high-quality, CMS 5-star-rated care while accessing leading-edge information and resources from a nationwide network of experts.

Dr. Fadi Yacoub and Dr. Anwar Ahmed will remain in their leadership positions at Mercy, continuing to provide quality, direct patient care, as they have in the past. Mercy’s staff and management will remain in place, as well.

“Our local continuity and long-standing reputation, coupled with U.S. Renal Care’s extensive network and expertise, will provide a unique and exceptional experience for our patients,” said Dr. Yacoub, medical director, Mercy Dialysis, in a press release. “Mercy looks forward to the evolution of our dialysis program and the benefits it will provide to patients who have entrusted us with their kidney care for 35 years.”

Mercy Medical Center Named to Top 100 List

cpeck | June 30th, 2020

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids has been named to this year’s Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list.

IBM Watson Health annually identifies the nation’s top hospitals from a rigorous evaluation of more than 3,000 short-term, acute-care, non-federal hospitals.

The final list, unveiled on, recognizes excellence in clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience and financial health.

Mercy Medical Center was ranked No. 6 on the publication’s list of Top Medium Community Hospitals, marking its eighth year on the list.

“Mercy caregivers strive every day to achieve a hospital-wide culture of excellence that cuts across all services, from patient care and clinical areas to facilities and room service,” said Tim Charles, president and CEO, Mercy Medical Center, in a release. “I’m pleased that this Top 100 designation once again recognizes our team’s ongoing commitment to prioritize patient-centered care, particularly during this challenging time.”

For more information, visit

The History Center Welcomes Back Visitors on Limited Basis Starting in July

The MedQuarter | June 25th, 2020

The History Center will welcome back visitors to the Douglas Mansion on a limited basis in July. On three Saturdays—July 11, 18, and 25—we will be open from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Visiting in person, however, will different than it was prior to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please be aware of the following policies and procedures:

  • Reservations are required and must be made online—including prepayment (org/rsvp)
  • The largest reservation that can be made is for 10 people.
  • 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.

Walking/Biking Tours

Walking Tours sponsored by Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust

Biking Tours co-sponsored by Hall Bicycle Company and Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust

Your health and safety remain our priority, so here are the guidelines in place for the Walking and Biking Tours:

  • Masks are required for all participants.
  • All tours require advanced ticket purchase. Please see the tour description to purchase tickets. Payments will not be accepted at the time of the tour.
  • Tours are currently limited to 10 individuals.
  • Social distancing is strongly encouraged. A new PA system will ensure that participants can hear the tour guide while maintaining social distance.

Upcoming Tours:

July 7: Mays Island Walking Tour

July 21: Kingston Village Walking Tour

July 25: North Route Bike Tour

Grown-Up Show-N-Tell – Outdoor Edition

Tuesday, July 14, 6:00 PM

Lawn of the Douglas Mansion

Sponsored by Donald and Irene (Naxera) Hamous 

Grown-Up Show-N-Tell moves outside for an evening of storied personal treasures! Come to listen to some fascinating stories—or come to share a special object of your own.

Get tickets here.

Health and safety guidelines for Grown-Up Show-N-Tell:

  • Masks are required for all participants.
  • All events require advanced ticket purchase. Payments will not be accepted at time of the event.
  • To provide safe social distancing, seating will be designated in 8 x 8 foot squares to allow for 6 feet distance between each party. Please check in at the welcome desk to be directed to your assigned seating area.
  • This is event is limited to 14 parties with a maximum of 4 individuals per party. Please purchase your tickets as a group to be assigned the same seating area.
  • Please bring a lawn chair. Seating is not provided.

Food and drink welcome. Soft drinks and water will be available for purchase.

Walk Your Wheels Scooter Reminders

The MedQuarter | June 25th, 2020

The City of Cedar Rapids would like to remind residents that for the safety of all users: scooters, bicycles, and skateboards are not permitted on sidewalks in the downtown core and surrounding districts (NewBo, Czech Village, Kingston Village, MedQuarter).

Bicycles, scooters, and skateboards should be enjoyed in the designated bicycle lanes and trail systems, and all users are encouraged to wear a helmet. The downtown and surrounding districts have a high volume of pedestrian traffic that utilizes the sidewalk and makes frequent stops in and out of businesses. Utilizing the bike lanes keeps sidewalks and business entrances open and accessible to pedestrians.

Riding an e-scooter or bicycle on the sidewalk in the downtown core is a violation of Municipal Code Section 53.14. A violation is a fine of up to $625.

As part of the bike share program, the City implemented measures to help educate the public on where to safely ride. This includes more than 50 “Walk Your Wheels” sidewalk decals on the sidewalk surface, street signage, and safety videos. The VeoRide mobile app also requires users to acknowledge safety rules before unlocking a bike or scooter. These reminders are a key component of the public education program to encourage and support pedestrian safety. You can view videos on the City’s website:

Reminder – Park Responsibly
When finished riding, please park in one of the conveniently-located green bike racks, shown on the app. Scooters may be parked in any green bike rack or in the designated parking area for scooters, painted on the sidewalk near bike racks. Parking in bike racks or in designated parking areas ensures sidewalks and building entrances remain open and accessible for pedestrians, while keeping the system neat and organized.

Report a Concern
To report a user riding a bike or scooter on a sidewalk in the downtown core, please call the Police Department non-emergency number at 319-286-5491.

To report an issue with a specific bike or scooter, please contact VeoRide’s customer service at 1-855-836-2256 or

Mercy Continues Resumption of Services and Safely Returns to Prior Use of Hospital Spaces

The MedQuarter | June 22nd, 2020

As Mercy Cedar Rapids continues the resumption of many of its services, it is also returning spaces within the hospital to their normal patient care functions.

In the midst of the pandemic, Mercy dedicated two entire floors of its patient tower to COVID-19. The floors have negative air flow rooms that are specifically designed to protect patients, staff and visitors. In all, more than 60 beds were reserved for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. The average census was less than 20.

Now, with even fewer hospitalized COVID-19 patients, Mercy is resuming normal operations in these areas. In doing so, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of staff and patients, Mercy utilized an industrial hygienist from a national bacteria decontamination and infectious disease control company to thoroughly disinfect, test and certify that the areas are free from infection risk.

“By utilizing a third-party industrial hygienist, we are able to provide our patients, visitors and staff with every confidence that Mercy has performed the highest level of disinfection as we return hospital spaces to their previous functions,” said Dr. Timothy Quinn, Mercy’s executive vice president and chief of clinic operations. “As a trusted healthcare provider in our community, the safety of our staff and the patients we serve is always paramount.”

Meanwhile, COVID-19 patients are currently being treated in a dedicated space that remains separate from other patient care areas. Mercy caregivers have ample supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and each caregiver is assisted in putting on and taking off their PPE as they prepare to enter or leave the COVID-designated area. This process provides yet another layer of supervision and protection.

As hospital and clinic services resume, Mercy wants patients, visitors and staff to know that their safety is our top priority. That’s why these extra precautions and safety measures are in place. Mercy encourages those who need medical care to seek it with full confidence of a safe environment, and not to delay getting the care they need.

Cedar Rapids Hospital Visitor Policies Adjusted

The MedQuarter | June 15th, 2020

Cedar Rapids hospitals are lifting some visitor restrictions.

Effective Monday, June 15 both hospitals are allowing hospitalized patients to have one visitor at a time, per patient. This does not include the behavioral health units, where restrictions remain. Exceptions include end of life care, which may have two visitors and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Visitors must follow screening procedures and may not have any respiratory symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Visitors will not be permitted if the patient admitted has a positive or pending symptomatic COVID-19 test. Hospital visitors will be required to wear a mask. At this time, no visitors under the age of 18 are allowed.

Inpatient visiting hours have been set from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visiting hours may change or be suspended at any time as needed. Each hospital’s clinical team will make every effort to communicate changes as they occur.

We appreciate the community’s understanding – our goal is to protect our patients, staff and the community.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Corizzo, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, 319-369-8372 or 319-560-2385 and Karen Vander Sanden, Mercy Medical Center, 319-398-6083 or 319-558-8424.

Those Entering Cedar Rapids Hospitals or Clinics are Reminded to Wear a Mask

The MedQuarter | June 4th, 2020

Medical research continues to show decreased COVID spread by masking and social distancing 

Cedar Rapids, IA – In effort to protect patients, visitors, healthcare workers and other members of the community, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and Mercy Cedar Rapids are reminding the community of their universal masking policies. 

  • All individuals must wear a mask upon entering the hospitals and clinics and it must remain on for the duration of the visit.
  • Patients and visitors are encouraged to bring their own masks. Otherwise, one will be provided upon arrival.
  • Masks should always cover the nose and mouth.
  • Masks do not replace the need for social distancing. Please try to maintain a six feet distance between individuals.
  • Both UnityPoint Health and Mercy Cedar Rapids have homemade mask patterns available on their websites for the public to download.  Both hospitals continue to accept mask donations, especially for pediatric patients.

The masking requirement will remain in place at both hospitals and their respective clinics for the foreseeable future.  Adherence to these hospital policies is appreciated.

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital Light to Honor Organ Donors

The MedQuarter | May 22nd, 2020

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital has started a new tradition to honor organ donors and bring awareness to the gift of life. In a tribute to honor patients and families who have made the decision to extend life and donate organs to the Iowa Donor Network, the hospital will turn its West Pavilion light green to honor and show appreciation for this life-saving donation. On May 14, St. Luke’s honored its first donor.

The idea to honor donors this way, came from a frontline team member. St. Luke’s team members already participate in honor walks for organ donors. St. Luke’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse Nic Hughes saw this as a way to publicly acknowledge the gift of life in our community.

Over 112,000 Americans currently wait for a life-saving organ transplant. Over 600 are Iowans.

Some facts about organ donation:

  • Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • An average of 20 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.
  • In 2019, the lives of 40,000 Americans were saved by organ donation.
  • One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal more than 200 lives through tissue donation.

Statistics source:

To learn more about organ donation log on to or call (319) 665-3787.

Virtual Tanager Place resiliency pre-symposium planned May 22

The MedQuarter | May 18th, 2020

Tanager Place will continue to hold its Resiliency & Trauma-Informed Care Symposium in 2020, although the training and education opportunity has been moved to two sessions to better meet community needs during the ongoing pandemic. Both sessions will feature two internationally-known keynote speakers, as well as presentations by Tanager Place staff members on resiliency.

The virtual pre-symposium will kick off at 10:30 a.m. May 22 with messages from Tina Payne Bryson and Jaiya John and follow with training sessions key to the current public health circumstance. Dr. Payne Bryson is the founder and executive director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and of The Play Strong Institute in Pasadena, California. Dr. John is a freedom worker, author, speaker, poet and youth mentor.

While the pre-symposium is free and open to the public, registration is required via the Tanager website.

The full symposium has been moved to Oct. 15, and will be an all-day, in-person event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Drs. Bryson and John will be present at the symposium, which also will offer a full helping of carefully crafted and curated training sessions for professionals, parents and more. Registration for this event is $25, which can be completed on the website.

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital Opens West Entrance

The MedQuarter | May 12th, 2020

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital’s West Entrance has reopened to patients and visitors daily from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. This main entrance will be staffed by screeners, who will check temperatures and briefly ask a few health questions. Limited visitor restrictions still apply and anyone entering the hospital will be required to wear a mask, per the universal UnityPoint Health masking policy. St. Luke’s ER entrance will remain separate from the West Entrance. Additionally, valet parking will resume at the hospital and nearby medical office building.

The MedQuarter is keeping up-to-date on information and resources regarding the pandemic.
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