Category Archives: News

We appreciate our nurses!

We are celebrating the hard work, compassion, and dedication of nurses everywhere. Here at Ringgold County Hospital, our thanks go out to all the nurses in our hospital and clinic who care for our community every day! Each month, we’re profiling 2-3 outstanding nurses for their contributions.

September 2020 Featured Nurses – read their stories here

Lori Mercer, LPN

 

Tim Boswell, RN

 

August 2020 Featured Nurses – read their stories here

Eric Montiel, LPN

Lolita Worley, RN

 

July 2020 Featured Nurses – Read their stories here

Ben Brightwell, RN

Joyce Lee, RN

 

June 2020 Featured Nurses – Read their stories here

Marcia Showalter, RN 13 Years in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic

Marcie Page, RN 12 Years in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic

 

May 2020 Featured Nurses – Read their stories here

Leza Johnson, RN
33 Years at RCH

Kathy Scott, RN began working at RCH 32 years ago

Bonnie Baker, LPN 23 Years at RCH in 2020

 

 

 

Drive Thru COVID-19 Testing

Beginning Monday, August 24, 2020 Ringgold County Hospital is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing in a new location on the South side of the building during the following times:

Monday 7:30-9:00 am*

Tuesday 3:00-4:30 pm*

Wednesday 7:30-9:00 am*

Thursday 3:00-4:30 pm*

Friday 7:30-9:00 am*

*Except holidays

Use the main drive and proceed straight to the South side of the building. Please stay in your vehicle and follow the signs to drive through for testing.

Testing is available for anyone who has:

  1. had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 AND/OR
  2. has 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

You can download and complete consent and patient information forms prior to arrival:

Drive Thru COVID-19 Test Consent and Patient Information Form

If you would like to see a provider or are experiencing severe shortness of breath, don’t drive-thru for testing, call 641-464-3226 and go to the Emergency Entrance. 

Ophthalmologist now treating cataracts at RCH

Matthew Raecker, MD

Des Moines Eye Surgeons has partnered with Ringgold County Hospital to offer cornea and comprehensive ophthalmology with a focus on treating cataracts. Matthew Raecker, MD will be available at Ringgold County Hospital the first Wednesday of every month.

A native of Cedar Falls, IA, Dr. Raecker, his wife, and three young children currently live in Des Moines. He travels monthly to Ringgold County Hospital to care for patients here. “It’s nice to get away from Des Moines and see a different part of the state,” he said. “But mostly, I enjoy helping patients get their care close to home. It’s great that they can stay local for their care if possible.”

Medicine is definitely the career he was meant to have. His father was a doctor and his father-in-law is also an ophthalmologist. Dr. Raecker studied biology and earned his BA at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Iowa in 2010. “I became interested in ophthalmology specifically after doing research with my father-in-law,” he said. He completed his residency in Ophthalmology at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR in 2014. After returning to Iowa, he attended the University of Iowa where he completed his fellowship in Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery in 2015. Dr. Raecker is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He likes to have continuity of care with his patients in clinic and enjoys the challenges that come with having a surgical practice as well. When he’s not caring for patients or commuting between clinics, Dr. Raecker looks for opportunities to spend time with his family, golf, bike, and be outdoors.

A referral from your eye doctor is encouraged. To schedule an appointment, call the RCH Visiting Physician Clinic at 641-464-4409.

Hospital is Prepared for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Ringgold County Hospital is following all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Health in response to the current Coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation. In order to protect the safety and well being of all our patients and staff, we are pre-screening everyone wishing to gain entry to the hospital for fever, chills or sweats, cough, shortness of breath, or nausea/diarrhea. The hospital has made changes both physically and operationally to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers. A dedicated entrance to the hospital has been created for those experiencing breathing issues. The dedicated entrance is on the north end of the hospital next to the Emergency Room entrance. In addition, car-side triage and services have been implemented to add to the safety of both patients and healthcare providers. Patients can have simple services like blood drawn without ever leaving their cars! Some routine exams and wellness visits at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic have been rescheduled to reduce the potential spread of this virus. The hospital advises the community:

  1. Call prior to coming into the hospital 641-464-3226 or the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic 641-464-4470. You will be directed to the appropriate department for assistance. Some tests and visits may be conducted at your vehicle.
  2. Whether you are sick or not, stay home. Social distancing will slow down the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Wash your hands frequently and clean all the surfaces in your home.
  4. Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Learn more about cloth face masks.
  5. Call “211” in Iowa, or 877-435-8411 in Missouri, to receive general information on COVID-19 and testing options.

Visitor access to the hospital has been restricted and entry to the building is limited to the two main entrances. The main entrance is open between 6:30am and 5:00pm Monday – Friday, and the Emergency Room entrance is open at all times. Anyone who enters the hospital will be pre-screened for temperature and other COVID-19 risk factors. No public walking is allowed until further notice.
Additionally, we are instituting strict visiting restriction. For the immediate future, NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.

Visitor Restrictions
NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.
Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Children admitted to the hospital
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

For approved exceptions, only one visitor per patient will be allowed. They must be:

  • 18 or older
  • Either immediate family members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives

Checklist to prepare and protect yourself and your family (DOWNLOAD AND PRINT)

PLAN AND PREPARE: TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTION: TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD’S
EMOTIONAL HEALTH:
• Get up-to-date information about local
COVID-19 activity from public officials and
departments.
• Create a list of important organizations and providers your household can call in case of emergencies.
• Choose a designated room that can be used to separate family members who are sick or under quarantine.
• Stay in touch.
• Stay informed about the local outbreak situation.
• Notify your work or school if your schedule or arrangements need to change.
• If you live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during the outbreak.
• Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Let family members who are sick or have underlying issues stay at home and away from the office, school or crowded places.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Avoid sharing personal items.
• Outbreaks are stressful for both adults and children. Find resources here.
• Children may respond differently to stressful situations.
• Talk with your children and answer their questions. Let them voice out their fears or worries.
• Practice meditation.
• Stick to a schedule.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Health: www.idph.iowa.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www. cdc.gov.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – What you need to know

Ringgold County Hospital, an affiliate of MercyOne, continues to closely monitor the international situation concerning COVID-19. COVID-19, originally referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV), recently discovered in Wuhan, China. Cases of COVID-19 are appearing across the globe, and we are monitoring the virus to help keep our communities healthy.

At Ringgold County Hospital, we are following guidance provided by the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health to screen patients for symptoms including fever and respiratory signs as well as the patient’s travel history and exposure to those who have traveled. If a person is found to have symptoms and travel history, Ringgold County Hospital will isolate the patient and alert the Iowa Department of Public Health to coordinate testing. 

If you begin to experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, call your primary care provider before coming in.

What are COVID-19 symptoms?
Coronaviruses are respiratory, meaning most people who have a Coronavirus will have a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and fever. 

In 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms. The elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.

If you begin to experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, call your primary care provider (contact Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470) before coming in.

How do people get Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, similar to the flu – through the air from a cough or sneeze of someone who has the virus.

It may be possible a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object which has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 

How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
To help prevent the spread of all viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Should we wear facemasks to prevent COVID-19?
The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Learn more about cloth face masks.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
  • Monitor your symptoms

10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home – print instructions

Additional Information
More information about the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa can be found on an IDPH website dedicated to the outbreak. Iowans can also call 2-1-1 to get answers to questions about COVID-19. The hotline is staffed 24/7. For the latest CDC guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.