Author Archives: Jennifer Kellner

FREE Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Screenings

BloodPressure_IMG_8935Ringgold County Hospital (RCH) recognizes the importance of knowing and understanding your numbers. 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.

Free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings are being conducted at Ringgold County Hospital February 15-19 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.

Make 2016 a Great Year


The Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic is your partner in good health.

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you promised your children that you really are going to quit smoking. Perhaps it was a commitment to your wife that you will eat more vegetables and drop 20 pounds. Or it might have been a conversation with yourself to exercise more and lower your blood pressure.

Every January, many of us make resolutions big and small, and then often struggle to keep them. The great news is that you’re not alone! The staff at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic is ready to partner with you to help you reach your goals. Practitioners in the MAMC provide care to all ages.

To kick off 2016, we asked some of the clinic staff to provide their favorite tips for a healthy and happy year:
  • DO wash your hands; wash your hands; wash your hands!
  • DO take breaks during the work day. Get up and move around. Go outside and get some fresh air or stay inside and walk the hallways!
  • DO get up and workout in the morning before your brain has time to realize what it is doing!
  • DO replace your French fries with a side salad or vegetable when dining out.
  • DO make the decision to take control of your health care. Start with knowing your numbers and why they are important.
  • DON’T smoke or use tobacco. Many preventable illnesses are linked to smoking. Tobacco is linked to nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.
  • DO limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
  • DO eat healthy. Include four to five cups of fruits and vegetables per day. Eat whole-grain, high-fiber foods. There is no “magic pill or diet.” Eat breakfast and don’t skip meals. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day.
  • DO lose weight if you’re overweight. A high-fiber, low-fat diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off.
  • DO exercise. It can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression. Try to exercise for 30-60 minutes 4-6 times per week.
  • DON’T use tanning booths. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, wear protective clothing and hats when outside and limit sun exposure.
  • DO keep your immunizations up to date. Check with your medical provider to review your records.
  • DO make time for yearly health screening appointments. Visit with your physician at least once per year to maintain your optimal health and well being and make sure you are actively preventing disease.
  • DO take charge of your life. Health is a state of mind and body. When you experience improved physical health, you will gain energy and a positive outlook on your life. Set small goals that are easy to add to your daily routine.

Print Health Tips

Whooping Cough Outbreak

Ringgold County Public Health has confirmed 2 cases of pertussis or whooping cough within the county.  Pertussis is a bacterial disease that causes severe spells of coughing.  It can occur at any age, but it is most common in infants less than a year of age.  Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and sometimes death.  Pertussis can be difficult to diagnosis in teens and adults because their symptoms often look like a cold with a nagging cough.  Those who are vaccinated or have a history of pertussis may have milder symptoms.

Pertussis is treated with an appropriate antibiotic if given early in the illness.  After 5 days of antibiotics, an infected person can no longer spread the disease.  It is also considered no longer contagious if the individual infected with pertussis has been coughing for 3 weeks or longer.

Pertussis may be prevented through routine immunizations.  “Cases like this that occur in an unvaccinated population remind us of the importance of routine childhood and adult vaccinations,” states Becky Fletchall, RN, BSN, Ringgold County Public Health Nurse Administrator.  Vaccination can be given as soon as 6-8 weeks of age.  “Medical care providers are encouraging any family members/friends/daycare providers who will be around a newborn baby to check their immunization status to make sure they have received proper vaccinations.  It’s our best way to protect these precious ones,” states Fletchall.

Contact Becky Fletchall, RN, BSN at Ringgold County Public Health for additional information.

119 South Fillmore St.

Mount Ayr, IA  50854

Phone 641-464-0691

Senior Life Solutions Receives Program of the Year Award

Pictured left to right: Grace Warin, Office Coordinator; Deb Robertson, Program Director; Lynsey Perry, West Regional Director; and Becky Hunter, Licensed Independent Social Worker.

Launched in October of 2014, the Senior Life Solutions program at Ringgold County Hospital (RCH) received the 2015 Program of the Year award. Representatives from Psychiatric Medical Care presented the Senior Life Solutions staff with the award on Tuesday, December 8. The company runs programs across the country to help people over age 65 deal with emotional or behavioral issues.

“The staff excels at compliance, care and community” boasts Lynsey Perry, Regional Director for Psychiatric Medical Care. “Additionally, they’re exceptionally passionate, and just wonderful people who love the work they do.”

Debra Robertson, RN, CCM, the Senior Life Solutions Director at RCH was excited to receive the award. “Our team is focused on doing all we can to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and to encourage them to be more independent in their own lives,” says Robertson.

2015 Senior Life Solutions Program of the YearOffering the Senior Life Solutions program allows Ringgold County Hospital to help patients and their families work through some of the difficult transitions in life. Gordon Winkler, CEO at RCH was ecstatic, “I couldn’t be more proud to learn they received this award.” Click here to learn more about Senior Life Solutions.

Find additional pictures from the award ceremony on our Facebook page.

Replacing Worn-out Joints

Dave Gourley at work

Dave Gourley at work

You could describe Dave Gourley as “active.” He has a full-time job with Ringgold County Secondary Roads, a part-time job assisting a local farmer, and his own 200-acre farm to manage. The 56-year old also has a wife, three children and six grandchildren. So he’s on the go most of the time. “My hobby is work!” he says. So when a “dull throbbing pain” took over his attempts to sleep, and his days were spent limping and dragging his leg around, he knew something needed to be done. After a  referral from his physician Dwain Crain, D.O., Dave met with Shehada Homedan, M.D., Ringgold County Hospital’s orthopedic surgeon. “He said the meniscus, the pad between the ball and the socket in my hip, was just plain worn out. And he recommended a new kind of replacement surgery, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing,” said Dave. Designed for younger, active people, Dave’s surgery was in November 2012, and was the first of its kind performed at RCH.

Dave Gourley

Dave Gourley is back
to work after his second
successful hip replacement

His recovery was long and Dave was anxious to be off his crutches and cleared to go back to work. During this time, he spent hours working with Ruth Smith, PT, in the Physical Therapy department of the hospital. “Actually, the physical therapy begins before the surgery,” he explained. “I started doing specific exercises to build up my leg, hip, and buttocks muscles beforehand. And then I was back at it right after surgery. Ruth was just great. She explained everything, wrote it down, and even provided pictures so I’d know what to do at home. She was very encouraging – although she did get a little stern with me when she needed to.” Dr. Homedan had advised Dave that it would be about two years before he completely forgot about the surgery and recovery process. So he was dismayed when, two years later, his second hip required the same treatment. “I thought, why me? But I realized that it was just something that happens. I’m very active, and I just wore them out.” Knowing what to expect, Dave started seriously exercising to prepare for the surgery. He recovered more quickly and was able to return to work sooner.

“I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Homedan, the surgical staff and the nursing staff,” said Dave. “People in this community ought to be so proud. With the staff and the doctors, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about. I’ve got nothing against Des Moines, but the fact that I was having the surgeries at home meant so much. It was comforting, and in my opinion, that helps with recovery.”

Dave’s shoulder bothers him from an old high-school wrestling injury. And his knee “sounds like it has gravel in it.” But he knows he can continue to get quality care at Ringgold County Hospital. He jokes, “As long as they keep making replacement parts, I know I’ll be ok!”

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