Category Archives: Healthy Living

Recommended Early Childhood Immunizations

Some vaccines may be given as part of a combination vaccine so that a child gets fewer shots. Talk with your medical provider at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic about which vaccines your children should receive.

Hepatitis B vaccine

2 months
HepB, DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), IPV (Inactivated poliovirus), PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate), RV (Rotavirus)

4 months

6 months

6 months and annually
Influenza (Flu): The flu vaccine is recommended every year for children 6 months and older (two doses needed first year only)

12 months
HepA, Hib, MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella), PCV, Varicella (chickenpox)

18 months
DTaP, HepA

4–6 years
DTaP, MMR, IPV, Varicella

Maximizing Family Care

Brad, Abby, and Alice Elliott are
pleased with the care they receive
at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic

Starting a family is just the beginning. First there are the lullabies and the adorable pictures and the doting grandparents. Then, there are the real-life concerns about weight gain and immunizations and childhood diseases. Scheduling well-child visits can help keep your family healthy and ease new-parent stress. A newborn check-up is recommended 2-3 days after mom and baby leave the hospital.

Abby and Brad Elliott and their daughter, 15-month old Alice, are all Mt. Ayr residents. Both Brad and Abby grew up in Ringgold County. They connected at Northwest Missouri State where she got her master’s degree in history and he got his degree in graphic design. Brad started his own firm in Mt. Ayr 10 years ago while Abby was studying at Purdue University. She moved back in 2012 and they were married in 2014.

A little over a year ago, Alice was born. “We wanted her to have the same doctors, whether she was healthy or sick,” explained Abby. “Many of our friends take their children to Des Moines to see their pediatricians. We wanted our daughter to be seen by people who know her, so we started immediately at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. Her first visit was when she was three days old.”

“I had made an appointment with Dr. Nicole Wilson while I was still pregnant,” continued Abby. “I wanted to meet her ahead of time and I was really impressed. So when I was having some issues after Alice’s birth it made sense to go directly to Dr. Wilson.” While they were at the Clinic, they discovered that Brad wasn’t up to date on all of his immunizations – particularly those that might affect Alice. “It was great that the Clinic could see us as a family, and treat all of us at once.”

Abby and Brad have been taking Alice to the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic since she
was born. They really appreciate the team approach to Alice’s care. The physicians, the nurse practitioner, and the physician’s assistant are all involved. Abby likes knowing that whether Alice is there on a well-baby visit or has an illness, the team knows who she is and is familiar with her family. “At Alice’s 15-month check-up, Dr. Brad Wilson looked at her chart and questioned her weight gain. She had lost a little when she was sick around her first birthday, and he picked right up on it.” Abby is pleased to know that if Alice ever needs emergency care the medical staff at the Clinic will not only be able to care for her, they’ll know her. “It’s ideal for Alice. It’s ideal for us.”

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Back in the Saddle

Dwayne Cason, heart attack survivor

When you talk to Dwayne Cason, you know right away that he’s been through a lot. The 71-year-old Viet Nam veteran has had his share of injuries, but perhaps none as life threatening as the heart attack that forced him to have open heart surgery last June. “I was taking care of 37 acres and walking five miles a day,” he said, “and I still had a heart attack!”

Luckily for Dwayne, he knew where to find the best cardiac rehabilitation in Southern Iowa– with Jennifer England at Ringgold County Hospital. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Jennifer a 12!” He’d worked with her in 2010 after having a stent put in, so he knew how she worked and that she would help him after his surgery. “Jennifer’s the best. I told her ‘I want you to push me. Push me hard.’ And she really pushed me.”

Dwayne explained that each session began with warm ups like leg lifts, squats, and stretching his muscles. Then they’d lift weights. “I started lifting at three pounds. She got me up to eight. And Jennifer does every one of them with you. She always had two pounds more than me.”

For many cardiac patients, time on a treadmill is part of their rehab. Not so for Dwayne. “You can walk forever,” said Jennifer. So instead he spent time on a bike. “We bumped up the resistance and I’d ride for 30 minutes.” According to Dwayne, his doctors told him he won’t feel 100% better until a year after his surgery. But he’s working hard to beat that prediction. With the great start he received from RCH cardiac rehab, he’s well on his way.

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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

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

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