Category Archives: News

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.

Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic Welcomes Pediatrician

Pediatrician Tabitha Wilson, M.D.

Tabitha Wilson, MD, has joined the staff of the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic and CHI Health Clinics in Corning, Bedford, and Lenox. A pediatric specialist, she is joining teams of family practice professionals. Her expertise will complement their work. “I’m here to support the current staff. I want to be available in case they have a complicated patient. I also have admitting privileges at Ringgold County Hospital and CHI Health Corning, so we can keep kids closer to home if they need to be hospitalized.” A native of Bedford, she’s thrilled to be bringing her young family home. “The way it started is kind of crazy!” she said. “My husband and I had been talking about moving back to Iowa to be closer to my family. I wrote a Facebook post that was seen by a friend of mine who’s a nurse at Ringgold County Hospital. She mentioned it to (CEO) Gordon Winkler. From there, everything just worked out!”

Lisa Wolfe, president of CHI Health Mercy Corning, and Gordon Winkler are excited to be working together to bring Dr. Wilson to the area. “When we collaborate, we’re able to recruit the best specialists,” said Winkler. “It’s a great way to bring high-quality medical care to our rural communities.” As a teenager, Dr. Wilson knew that she wanted a career in medicine, but she originally chose neurology as her specialty. “When I was in medical school, I fell in love with pediatrics,” she said. So, she changed direction, and now the families of Southwest Iowa will benefit. For Dr. Wilson, the favorite part of her job is getting to interact with families and getting to know the children over time. “I love doing well baby checkups,” she says. “Childhood development is just so interesting to me.”

The mother of two experienced a difficult birth with her own daughter almost three years ago. “The experience changed who I am as a doctor and as a person,” she readily admits. “She almost died and was in the intensive care unit. It was terrible, but it made me a much better pediatrician.” Dr. Wilson, her husband, daughter, and son are settling in the Bedford area, close to her family’s farm and where she grew up. She’ll be surrounded by her family and longtime friends. “This situation was meant to be. I have a five-year contract, but I hope that this will be permanent. We are so incredibly excited to be here!” Dr. Wilson will begin seeing patients at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic in mid-August. She’ll be in the clinic on Mondays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 5:00. To schedule an appointment for your child, call the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470.

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Dr. Brian Rarick has more than 30 years of experience in podiatry. He treats patients at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic twice a month.

Dr. Brian Rarick is one of the visiting physicians who come to Mt. Ayr regularly. A podiatrist (foot specialist) he graduated from the California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University in 1988. He’s been in practice for more than 30 years.
Podiatrists treat common foot conditions including bunions, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, and neuroma, as well as injuries to the foot and ankle, such as sprains and stress fractures. Dr. Rarick specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. He is available at Ringgold County Hospital the second and fourth Fridays of each month. To schedule an appointment to see Dr. Rarick, please call the Visiting Physicians Clinic at (641) 464-4409.


Dr. Joel Weis: Looking Forward to a New Partnership

Dr. Weis is seeing patients in Mt. Ayr on Thursdays in the Visiting Physician’s Clinic at Ringgold County Hospital.

Joel Weis, O.D. recently moved his Mt. Ayr Family Vision Center office to the Visiting Physician’s Clinic within Ringgold County Hospital. One of the best aspects of being located within the hospital is collaboration, says Dr. Weis. “I’ve had a stand-alone clinic in Mt. Ayr for six years. I’m really looking forward to partnering with the hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic’s health care professionals. Coordinating with a patient’s primary care physician gives us the opportunity to provide the best care possible.”

Dr. Weis has been focused on being an optometrist since he was in the sixth grade. “I needed glasses at a young age, and I’ve always been fascinated with eyes and how they work,” he explained. He started life on a farm near Prescott, IA, and comes from a family involved in all kinds of healthcare. “Our family had a farm where we raised cattle and crops. Then my dad decided to go back to school and become a veterinarian. That’s when I decided I wanted to treat people – not animals.” As a young student, he did some job shadowing and decided that optometry was to be his career. After graduating from high school in Creston, he attended the University of Iowa. From there, he traveled south to experience barbeque and the blues while attending the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. He now practices with the same doctors that he interned with. Like many physicians who choose to practice their specialties in rural areas, Dr. Weis enjoys the challenges that come with working with a lot of different patients. “In Mt. Ayr, I work a lot with systemic issues like diabetes and ocular diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma. I want to see patients of all ages. It makes health care so interesting” says Dr. Weis. 

Dr. Weis’s home is in Creston where he lives with his wife and two young daughters. He doesn’t exaggerate when he says his entire family is in healthcare. His wife is an X-Ray technician; a brother is a pharmacist; another brother is in health insurance; his mother is a radiation therapist; and his father is a vet. “We’re all in the patient care business,” he said. “In one way or another!”

Dr. Weis is now seeing patients in Mt. Ayr on Thursdays each week in the Visiting Physician’s Clinic at Ringgold County Hospital. To schedule an appointment, call 641-464-2813.

Find a Doctor

Get News by Email