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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.

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)

• Get up-to-date information about local
COVID-19 activity from public officials and
• 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: and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.

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