Category Archives: News

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.

New Dermatology Clinic

Rodney Clark, ARNP, FNP-C

Ringgold County Hospital is pleased to announce a new partnership with Radiant Complexions Dermatology Clinics. Rodney Clark, ARNP, FNP-C, will be seeing patients once a month in the Visiting Physicians Clinic. Rodney is a certified family nurse practitioner and dermatology-trained nurse practitioner providing treatment of conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails for the entire family. After earning his Associate’s degree from Des Moines Area Community College in 2010, then his Bachelor’s degree from Grandview University in 2014, he earned his Master of Science in Nursing degree from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska. He is committed to providing effective dermatology treatments including: medical, anti-aging and cosmetic procedures to help patients look and feel their best.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Research estimates that nonmelanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affects more than 3 million Americans a year. Radiant Complexions is one of 13 clinics owned and operated by Iowa Dermatology. Radiant Complexions believes in bringing dermatology into the community by training nurse practitioners like Rodney through fellowship programs. “The whole idea is to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t have access,” he explained. “Patients can get in and take care of things earlier and more easily when they have access to a dermatology specialist and don’t have to travel.” Rodney is trained and ready to treat patients with skin issues across the board. From psoriasis to ectopic dermatitis to all kinds of skin cancers.

Below are just a few of the many conditions we treat in our clinics.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (515) 287-5757

Welcome Zeeshan Jawa, MD

Welcome Zeeshan Jawa, M.D.

The Visiting Physicians Clinic at Ringgold County Hospital welcomes Dr. Zeeshan Jawa. He will be providing Oncology and Hematology services on the second Thursday of each month beginning January of 2020.  Dr. Roy Molina, who previously staffed the Oncology/Hematology Clinic for many years, is retiring. The entire team at RCH thanks Dr. Molina for his service. We will miss him and wish him well in retirement. 

Roy Molina, M.D. retired December of 2019

Dr. Jawa received his medical training at Lahore Medical and Dental College in Lahore, Pakistan, followed by an internal medicine internship and residency at St. Francis Hospital (University of Illinois at Chicago) in Evanston, IL. He completed his fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He joined MOHA in 2018.  To set an appointment with Dr. Jawa, call 641-464-4409.

Welcome Nurse Practitioner Denise Coleman

Denise Coleman, Nurse practitioner and lifelong learner

Denise Coleman didn’t plan to go into medicine. She had a pretty typical childhood growing up on her family’s farm near Bedford. She had her three sons very early and settled into a factory job where she assumed she would stay. When the factory closed, she had to make a decision. “We had an opportunity to go to school to learn new skills, or to find another job,” she explained. “A really close friend said ‘Denise – we’re going to nursing school!’ and so I went. It was the luckiest thing I ever did!”

After commuting 90 miles a day for two years to attend Southwestern Community College in Creston, she earned her associate degree and became a Registered Nurse. She had done her clinical training at Ringgold County Hospital and when she graduated, she was offered a job immediately. “I’ve done a lot of work in the Emergency Room,” she said. “ER is my baby. I worked there and did bedside nursing with medical-surgical patients for two years.” At that point, she was approached by the hospital’s leadership to help build its electronic medical records system. “I did that for about a year and enjoyed it. I’m a jack of all trades,” said Denise. In the meantime, she was promoted to be the manager of ER and Med-Surg.

Not satisfied with the status quo, Denise went back to school in 2015 to earn her bachelor’s and then her master’s degrees. She has now completed all the work necessary to become a Nurse Practitioner. “I can diagnose, treat, prescribe, and provide medical advice,” she explained. “I could open an independent practice in the state of Iowa.” But she has no plans to open her own clinic. Ringgold County Hospital is her home away from home. “The hospital has been my employer for 11 years. I love the variety of my job. I’m a utility player. Somedays I’m in the ER, I do some hospital rounds, and I care for sick patients in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. That allows the clinic staff to keep appointments available.” Caring for patients who are part of a rural population is particularly rewarding for Denise. “I’m dedicated to providing the best care – no matter where you live. Our patients become our family. I love getting them well and keeping them well.” Denise’s hard work and dedication has contributed to her success while providing an extraordinary role model for her three sons, now in their 20s. “They’ve absolutely seen the value of hard work and of not being complacent.” She’s not about to rest either. “I’ll continue my education and add some more certifications!”

Pelvic Floor Therapy Now Available

As a member of the team that serves in Ringgold County Hospital’s Specialty Clinics, Kate Tripp, PA, enjoys the time she spends in Mt. Ayr. She’s a Physician Assistant who specializes in urology and travels from Des Moines at least once a month to care for patients at Ringgold County Hospital. “I really like the community feel,” said Kate. “And it’s great seeing patients in a hospital. All the resources we need are right here.”

Kate chose urology as her specialty because she wanted to become proficient in one area of medicine. She has training in psychiatry and primary care but is enjoying the challenges of urology. She sees both men and women for a variety of issues including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate disease and cancer, and sexual health concerns. “Moving into urology was a big switch, but I like knowing more about a single area. As a physician assistant, I can spend a little more time with patients. I like to do a lot of education,” she said.

Kate Tripp, PA, and Shyanne Allen, DPT, offer pelvic floor therapy

Kate is also working closely with Ringgold County Hospital’s physical therapy department as they roll out a new pelvic floor therapy program. “It’s really helpful for patients with incontinence or chronic pelvic pain,” says Kate. “When I was in the clinic last week, we had a patient who was leaking urine when she coughed, laughed, or sneezed. Medication just doesn’t work. Pelvic floor physical therapy is the only thing that will help. Patients are really going to benefit.” She added that most PT clinics don’t offer this specific therapy. “It takes additional training, and the therapists at Ringgold County Hospital have completed the updated training.”

When Kate is not in Mt. Ayr, she’s assisting in surgeries or working in another Iowa Clinic. She lives in Des Moines and enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her husband and two French Bulldogs. She also enjoys traveling, trying new foods, spending time outdoors, and working on renovating her home.

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