Category Archives: News

Growing Into 2020

Visiting Physicians Clinics Expanded

Bringing You More Local Services

Expanding the hospital’s Visiting Physicians Clinics has long been a priority for Ringgold County Hospital. Keeping patients close to home while they benefit from experienced, top-notch specialists contributes to a healthier community.

January of 2020 began with exciting news as Ringgold County Hospital announced a new partnership with Radiant Complexions Dermatology Clinics. Rodney Clark, ARNP, FNP-C, a certified family nurse practitioner trained in dermatology, treats patients with skin issues including psoriasis, ectopic dermatitis and various skin cancers.

In August, RCH  partnered with Des Moines Eye Surgeons to offer cornea and comprehensive ophthalmology with a focus on treating cataracts. Roughly 10 area residents received the gift of better sight in 2020 by electing cataract surgery in Mt. Ayr rather than traveling out of the area. 

During November of 2020, a partnership with Midwest Integrated Pain Care allowed area residents to benefit from pain management services at Ringgold County Hospital. Brian Jacobs, MS, CRNA, NSPM-C, joins Melissa Friedrich, current anesthesia provider at Ringgold County Hospital to provide local services such as: epidural therapeutic injections, image-guided joint injections, Botox, trigger point injections, and other therapy options. 

Ringgold County Hospital also broke ground on a building expansion that will provide additional space and allow more people to benefit from seeing specialists in the visiting physician clinic. In addition, the Senior Life Solutions program will be able to reach twice the number of people we are currently serving, and a new retail pharmacy will offer area residents greater access to necessary medicines.

Pandemic Preparations

After a relatively normal winter, the winds of March blew in the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that Ringgold County Hospital and the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic rose to meet the challenges. We continue to follow all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and continue to work closely with Iowa Department of Health/Ringgold County Public Health to help those impacted by novel coronavirus. “We’re healthcare professionals, and along with everyone else in the country, we’re taking this situation very seriously,” said Gordon Winkler, CEO of RCH.

In response, the hospital implemented several new safety procedures, including a dedicated entrance where employees, patients and visitors are pre-screened prior to entry. In addition, car-side triage and services were offered to provide greater safety of both patients and healthcare providers. 

The Mount Ayr Medical Clinic also adapted by offering new telemedicine options for patients to visit with their provider virtually. Using a smartphone with a microphone and a camera, we are now able to conduct routine exams, diagnose illnesses, and even check in with people struggling with mental health issues. Patients don’t have to leave their homes, which helps prevent the spread of the virus.

Emphasis on Regular Screenings

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the country, many people put off routine health screenings. Even in rural areas like Ringgold County, healthcare professionals have advised patients to postpone some testing, but not forever. Bruce Ricker, D.O. said that when the pandemic was thought to last two to four weeks, it made perfect sense to postpone screenings like colonoscopies. “But as time marches on, we need to look at the risks versus the benefits.” Katie Willcox, D.O. also reminds parents to keep up with their children’s immunizations. “This is not the time to skip doses,” she said.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, we continued to remind residents of the importance of checking in regularly with your primary care provider. In March, we profiled Lonnie Hawbaker, who discovered a pre-cancerous mass in his colon after a routine colonoscopy. In June, we heard from Brett Ruggles, a local basketball coach who is a survivor of testicular cancer. During October, three breast cancer survivors shared their stories of how a simple 10-minute mammogram saved their lives.

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.

December 2020 Featured Nurses – read their stories here

Erica Grose, RN

Ashley Briner, LPN

November 2020 Featured Nurses – read their stories here

Sarah Carter, RN

Alysha England, RN

 

October 2020 Featured Nurses – read their stories here

Shawn Dorsett, RN

Donna Hunter, LPN

 

 

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

 

 

 

New Pain Management Clinic Opens

Pain Management
Pain Management

Brian Jacobs, MS, CRNA, NSPM-C, Board Certified in Pain Management and Fellowship trained, joins Melissa Friedrich, current anesthesia provider at Ringgold County Hospital

Ringgold County Hospital has announced the opening of a new Pain Management Clinic. Designed to help patients manage chronic pain, the clinic will provide services to assist those with low back pain, chronic neck pain, SI joint pain, fibromyalgia, shingles, and headaches, among other issues.

Brian Jacobs, MS, CRNA, NSPM-C, Board Certified in Pain Management and Fellowship trained, joins Melissa Friedrich, current anesthesia provider at Ringgold County Hospital, to provide services such as: Epidural therapeutic injections, sacroiliac injections and radiofrequency ablation, sympathetic blockade, image-guided joint injections, Botox, trigger point injections, and other therapy options. The Clinic is a result of a partnership with Midwest Integrated Pain Care in Des Moines. The clinic opened on November 11, 2020 and appointments are now available. Patients can visit with their primary care provider or call the clinic directly to make an appointment 641-464-4433.

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.

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