Author Archives: Jennifer Kellner

Join the Great American Smokeout

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The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® is an annual event on the third Thursday in November – November 19, 2020, that encourages and offers support to people who smoke. Help someone you know make a plan to quit smoking or to quit for good. By quitting – even for one day – people who smoke will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

To learn more about the Great American Smokeout, and to explore tools, resources that help to quit smoking, please call the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470 or visit:

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing

Beginning May 24, 2021 you can make an appointment to be evaluated or tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic (located within Ringgold County Hospital). Call 641-464-4470 to make an appointment.

COVID-19 testing is available for anyone who has:

  1. Had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 AND/OR
  2. Developed any new symptoms of COVID-19 in the last five days including:
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste and smell
    • Muscle aches
    • Vomiting
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Trouble breathing
    • Cough
    • Fever of 100° F or higher or shaking/chills

Pre-Operative COVID-19 Testing

Patients who are preparing for an upcoming medical procedure can receive COVID-19 testing at the Ringgold County Hospital laboratory. Contact the Lab for more information at 641-464-4411. Providers can fax pre-op testing orders to 641-464-4412.

If you are experiencing severe shortness of breath, call 911 or go to the Emergency Entrance and call 641-464-4405 for immediate assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

I found out I was exposed to someone positive for Covid-19. What should I do?

Ringgold County Hospital encourages everyone that is contacted by Public Health to be evaluated. Contact Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic to schedule testing by calling 641-464-4470. Stay home and self quarantine until you are tested and receive your results (typically results are received within 2-5 days).

I am experiencing possible symptoms of Covid-19. What should I do?

Ringgold County Hospital encourages everyone that is experiencing symptoms to contact their primary care provider to be evaluated. The provider may evaluate and treat upon their discretion or suggest you be tested. Testing is available by appointment at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic by calling 641-464-4470. Stay home and self quarantine until you are tested and receive your results (typically results are received within 2-5 days).

What kind of test will I receive?

You will have a choice of tests based on current availability of testing supplies. All situations are individual, and you may want to consult with your primary health care provider with any questions.

Why did I receive a bill after being tested for COVID-19?

Testing supplies were initially provided by federal and state funding at no cost. Facilities are now purchasing their own testing supplies and COVID-19 testing is becoming a routine part of health care, similar to influenza or bacterial infections. It is possible that symptoms may also be related to cold and flu illnesses, including COVID-19 exposure. Providing the best plan of care may include evaluating our patients to better understand your symptoms. Ringgold County Hospital does charge a $80-100 fee to cover associated testing costs, insurance will be billed or you can pay the fee out of pocket.

Someone else I know got their results back the same day, but my results still haven’t come back. When will I get my results?

Ringgold County Hospital understands how important receiving your results are to determine how long you stay home. If you receive a State Hygienic Lab nasal swab test, it will be sent to an outside laboratory to process results. Their results typically take 2-3 days, but wait time may increase due to a greater demand for testing. If you receive a Rapid Test, you will receive your results by the end of the business day. 

Meet the New Senior Life Solutions Director

Morgan Drake, RN, is joining the staff at Ringgold County Hospital to mange the Senior Life Solutions program. She is taking over for Deb Robertson who retired on August 21. Morgan has spent her entire career working with seniors. She worked in nursing homes in Bedford and Mt. Ayr before starting Senior Life Solutions at Decatur County Hospital. Morgan received her nursing degree from Iowa Western Community College in Clarinda, IA. A native of Bedford, she currently lives there with her family.

Ringgold County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program, an intensive group counseling program for individuals over age 55, provides assistance to people who are dealing with emotional or behavioral issues often related to aging. Family members, physicians or other health professionals can refer individuals to the program. For more information about Senior Life Solutions, or to make a referral, contact our caring and dedicated team at (641) 464-4468.

Breast cancer survivors speak out

The health care professionals at Ringgold County Hospital strongly encourage all women over the age of 40 to have an annual mammogram. It’s a simple, noninvasive procedure. “It’s only 10 minutes,” said Shelly Shields, medical imaging manager. “But those 10 minutes can save your life.” The 3D Mammography machine brings the most advanced imaging available today to the area. Patients don’t have to travel to get the best of the best. “The convenience of it being right here means we’re detecting more breast cancers, earlier,” said Shelly. “Early detection is what saves lives.”

Becky Andrews

Becky Andrews

“It’s my firm belief that everyone should get an annual mammogram. I usually get one every year on my birthday in August. But for some reason, I waited until December in 2018. If it weren’t for the 3-D machine, we never would have found the cancers. I had cancer in both breasts. “It was a big blessing that I didn’t have to do chemo. I had surgery in early 2019 along with radiation. For the next five years, I’ll take a pill as a preventative measure to prevent future cancer. But that’s it! I’m feeling good and doing well. Having a positive attitude is key. I knew that God would take care of me.”

Diane Wood

Diane Wood

“I’ve had a mammogram every year since I turned 40 because I have a family history of breast cancer. My mother, my grandmother and my grandmother’s five sisters all had it. Three years ago, when I was 69, my mammogram indicated stage one breast cancer.

“The doctor recommended a lumpectomy, but because of my family history, I opted for a double mastectomy. I had no radiation and no chemo and I’m feeling really good. My advice? Get a mammogram every year!”

Debbie Bradley

Debbie Bradley

“I’m very fortunate. Thirty-some years ago I became eligible to have regular mammograms through my insurance company. I started immediately and have never missed one. I lost a dear aunt to breast cancer and her memory was my motivation. In recent years, my husband and I have been going to Ringgold County Hospital for all our medical needs. When it was time for a mammogram in 2019, RCH had just installed a 3-D machine. They credit that machine for finding the cancer. It was really early detection and wasn’t even stage one yet. I was 73 years old. “My surgery was a lumpectomy and removal of three lymph nodes. That was followed by several radiation treatments. I received wonderful care from start to finish and recovered quickly. After my 2020 follow-up mammogram, I received a letter from RCH stating, “Your recent breast imaging showed an area that we believe is probably benign (probably not cancer). However, in six months, you should have a follow-up imaging to confirm that this area has not changed. “You can bet that I will be there in six months.”

Print and Read the Full Story – October Newsletter

Seasonal Flu Shots

Call the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470 to schedule your annual flu shot. Prepare for your visit by downloading and completing the screening and consent form for each person receiving a flu shot and bring your insurance cards or completed registration and insurance form with you:

ADULT Screening and Consent  OR CHILD Screening and Consent

Patient Registration and Insurance Form


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