Author Archives: Jennifer Kellner

Living Smoke Free

It’s time for you to make the call and quit tobacco for good. Learn how to bench your cravings by understanding what triggers you and trying to avoid that as much as possible. Plus, remember to rebound! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up – it can take multiple shots to quit for good. And always remember that your team has your back. Have your friends and family keep you accountable and you’ll be on your way to being tobacco free. Visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help quitting.

Quitline Iowa 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Life’s Simple 7

Eric Martin, M.D.

Life’s Simple 7: Join Eric Martin, M.D. on Wednesday, February 22, at Noon in the RCH cafeteria. Dr. Martin’s presentation on heart health is free and includes lunch. Please reserve your seat by calling 464-641-4401 by Monday, February 20.

Take advantage of FREE cholesterol screenings offered by Ringgold County Hospital February 13-17, 7:00-10:00 a.m. in the Hospital lobby.


FREE Screenings

Did you know people have no way of knowing they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure without being tested? We encourage you to learn more about cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart health.

High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. As your blood cholesterol rises, so does your risk of coronary heart disease. The good news is, you can control it by eating a heart healthy diet. You can also manage other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Ringgold County Hospital (RCH) recognizes the importance of knowing and understanding your numbers. Free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings are being conducted at Ringgold County Hospital February 13-17 from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must be fasting to take part in these screenings. Your results will be sent directly to you and we encourage you to share a copy of your results with your primary health care practitioner.


Medicare Wellness Visits – What You Need to Know

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare patients are eligible for wellness visits. There are two types: Welcome to Medicare Visit and Annual Wellness Visits. Patients are eligible for the Welcome visit the first year after signing up for Medicare. It is done by a healthcare provider and is covered one time at no cost to the patient (unless the healthcare provider adds on additional testing.) During the visit, patients will be checked for vision, risk of depression, memory, risk of falls, health risks, ability to care for themselves, and chronic medical conditions.

Once a patient has had Medicare for longer than 12 months, they may qualify for Wellness Visits yearly. This can be done by a health care provider or nurse. This too is at no cost to the patient. During these visits, the patient’s medical history and medications are reviewed. A Health Risk Assessment is completed along with testing for vital signs, vision, height, weight, and BMI. Patients are assessed for cognitive impairment, safety concerns, and risk of depression. A written plan is then reviewed with each patient regarding screening tests, shots, or other preventive services that are needed and what is covered by Medicare. Contact your health care provider at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic to schedule a wellness visit.

Annual Wellness Visit & Preventive Screening Recommendations

Vaccines (flu, pneumococcal) – For all Medicare patients

Bone mass measurements – For Medicare patients at risk for developing osteoporosis

Cardiovascular screening blood tests  – For all asymptomatic Medicare patients

Colorectal cancer screening – For Medicare patients age 50 and over

Diabetes screenings – Medicare patients with certain risk factors

Diabetes self-management training –  Medicare patients at risk for complications from diabetes

Glaucoma screening – For people with diabetes mellitus or a family history

Prostate cancer screening – For all male patients 50 or older

Screening pap tests and pelvic exams – For all female Medicare patients

Screening mammography – For all females 40 and older

Smoking cessation – All Medicare patients

Walden Family Stays Well at RCH

Dick and Virginia Walden maintain their health at RCH

Dick and Virginia
Walden maintain their
health at RCH

In patients, out patients, Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic, Ringgold County Hospital, specialty clinic, you name it, and Virginia and Dick Walden have probably experienced it. Residents of Tingley, they’ve lived in the area since 2011 and are big fans of the hospital, the clinic, the entire staff, and particularly Dr. Bruce Ricker. “Dr. Ricker is so personable, and very thorough,” said Virginia. “He’s very caring, but not afraid to tell you if something’s wrong. He’s been very patient with us, and keeps us on a short leash,” she added laughing. “But seriously, if something should go wrong, he’s on it right away.”

The couple is in their mid-70s and have known each other since they met in nursery school in the early 1940s. A retired pastor and church musician, they’ve spent their lives caring for others so they really appreciate the care they receive from the RCH community. They moved to southern Iowa on the advice of their daughter, a nurse practitioner, who wanted them to be closer to her. Dick suffered a stroke in 2000 and was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 at about the same time he had a quadruple heart bypass. With Dr. Ricker’s guidance, he’s no longer on any diabetes medicine and is controlling it with diet alone. He’s also had a hernia repaired and an endoscopy procedure with Dr. Wehling.

Virginia’s been hospitalized three times in the past five years with bronchitis, a broken arm and kidney stones. She also has an irregular heartbeat which is monitored through an implant and wireless technology. Two “trigger fingers” were repaired for her by Dr. Homedan who also worked with her on carpal tunnel syndrome. They monitor a myriad of health issues using a calendar on the side of the refrigerator to keep up with their appointments for blood work, tests, and checkups. “Everything has been coming out really well,” reports Virginia. “Of course for some things, we need to see a specialist in Des Moines. But the doctors here know when to recommend a specialist and when we can be treated locally. We are so fortunate to have this hospital in our community. We just love it here!

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