Category Archives: News

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.

In Good Hands

Dr. Shehada Homedan travels to Mt. Ayr every week to care for patients

The residents of Ringgold County and Southwest Iowa are in good hands when it comes to their wrists, knees, hips, and shoulders. Dr. Shehada Homedan, an orthopedic surgeon, has been coming to Ringgold County Hospital once a week for 11 years to mend bones and replace joints. He’s enthusiastic about his work and enjoys the challenges that each case brings. “Doing surgery is actually fun for me,” he said. “I enjoy working with the tools and instruments. I certainly don’t get bored because there’s always something different with each case.” Total hip replacements are his favorite. “The anatomy is challenging, and the approach is interesting.” He also enjoys being able to help people and see immediate results. “With other specialties, you may have to wait a year or so to really see good results. With orthopedic surgery, the results are obvious from the very beginning.”

Although Dr. Homedan spent seven years in medical school and another eight years in orthopedic training, he is constantly learning new techniques  and using new tools and instruments. “Technology has changed a lot of the approach. Surgeries are easier on the patient because they can be less invasive,” he said. “I follow all the updates. It’s very important to keep in touch with what’s new and what’s coming.” That’s exciting for patients at Ringgold County Hospital. They know that he’s bringing all the “big-city” technology back to Mt. Ayr. There’s no need to travel to Des Moines or another metropolis to get the best care using the latest techniques. “I really like the people here,” Dr. Homedan said. “I get to help nice people who appreciate what we do. They want to get better and get back to their lives, so we collaborate to make that happen.”

Dr. Homedan works in four different hospitals in Iowa and travels back and forth each day from his home in Des Moines. The daily commutes are relaxing to him and he doesn’t mind winter. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and five children, aged 5 to 17, and playing soccer. A native of Palestine, he originally emigrated to Buffalo, NY for a fellowship to continue training in orthopedics. From Buffalo he came to Des Moines and stayed. His family is settled, and he’s happy with his work. 

To make an appointment with Dr. Homedon, contact the RCH Visiting Physician Clinic at 641-464-4409.

Making a Difference for Cancer Patients

Roy Molina, M.D.

There is good news if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder. If you’re a patient in the Ringgold County area, you have access to a top-notch oncologist without traveling far. Roy Molina, M.D. sees patients in the Ringgold County Hospital Visiting Physicians Clinic on the first Wednesday of every month. Dr. Molina joined Medical Oncology & Hematology Associates (MOHA) in Des Moines in 2000. He and his fellow oncologists travel throughout central Iowa to rural communities. “We feel we’re providing a good service to patients in rural areas,” he said. “A lot of times if oncologists don’t visit rural clinics, the patients don’t get treated at all. They decide they don’t want to travel, so they don’t.” “We’re very fortunate with the arrangement we have with the clinic in Mt. Ayr,” he continued. “They are willing and able to do the treatments here in the clinic. They had to get extra training in order to do it.” Dr. Molina signs the orders. Clinic staff administers the treatments and he monitors the patients during his monthly visits. “Not all rural hospitals are able to do the same thing. Some don’t want to bother with it. In which case the patients must come to Des Moines. If we can’t bring the treatment to them, it can create a hardship.” According to Dr. Molina, oncology patients are generally very grateful for what you can do for them. “They listen to suggestions and are compliant with their treatments. They want to get better. People often think it’s a dismal practice, because the outcomes are not always good. But we can help many, many patients,” he said. “We can help alleviate some symptoms and provide them with a reasonable quality of life. Even when we can’t cure the disease, we’re making a difference. It’s very satisfying.”

Dr. Molina trained at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he completed his internship and residency. He completed his fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Kansas and has double board certifications in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He had a practice in Columbia, MO before moving to Des Moines in 1990. When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Molina enjoys music, classical music in particular. He and his wife attend the symphony regularly, and he’s a pianist himself, even playing for his nurse at her wedding last year. He likes growing orchids and is a member of Central Iowa Orchid Society. Dr. Molina also enjoys traveling to see family and friends all over the United States.

If you find yourself in need of an oncologist, call 641-464-4409 to schedule an appointment.

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