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RCH Now Offers 3D Mammography

Kelsey Mullins, RT (R)(CT)(M) and Shelly Shields, RT (R)(CT)(MR) showcase the GeniusTM 3D MammographyTM unit

The Genius 3D Mammography exam is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection. It is performed in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. Then a computer uses these images to produce a 3D image of the breast tissue, providing greater detail for the radiologist.

There are many benefits of 3D mammography including earlier and easier detection. With conventional mammography the radiologist is viewing the breast tissue in a flat image. Sometimes this tissue appears overlapped, making it difficult to see all the individual structures. With 3D mammography, the doctor can now see the different structures as well as the location, size and shape of any abnormal tissue, such as small cancers. The Hologic Genius 3D Mammography exam also reduces callbacks by up to 40% compared to 2D mammography alone.  In the past, if the radiologist saw an area that was questionable, the patient would be asked to return for additional imaging. By being able to see the breast tissue in smaller, thinner sections, the “second look” might not be necessary.

Very low X-ray energy is used during a 3D exam. This means the amount of radiation is below the recommended guidelines of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and is just slightly higher than digital 2D mammography alone. Breast Tomosynthesis (3D mammography) is approved for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). A 3D mammography exam is an optional addition to a traditional 2D digital mammography exam. Click here to print and read the full article.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the Imaging Department at 641-464-4400.

Making Good Health a Priority

When you first talk to Katie Willcox, D.O., you quickly realize that caring really is her calling. The newest member of the RCH and Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic staff starts work on July 17, but her desire to help people and improve their health goes back to her middle school days. “My mother was a physical therapist,” said Dr. Willcox. “I spent a lot of time with her in nursing homes when I was growing up. I saw the difference between unhealthy 60-year olds and 90-year olds doing great. There are not a lot of careers where you can change an entire life for people. With good health, you can make a big difference for a long period of time. It made me decide to do what I’m doing.”

Dr. Willcox is an Iowa native, having grown up in LeClaire in the Quad City area. She went to the University of Iowa for undergrad, A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school, and just finished her residency at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO. She’s a family practitioner and is excited to face the challenges and enjoy the variety that she’ll see every day. “I was torn between pediatrics, geriatrics, and women’s health,” admits Dr. Willcox. “I love family practice because I don’t have to choose. I can help people at all stages of life.” She’ll be providing pre-natal care up to 36 weeks as well.

Her training in Kirksville at Medical School and her Residency prepared her for rural medicine. “I interviewed for a position in Des Moines,” she said. “I realized I didn’t want to work in the city. It just wasn’t for me. In Des Moines, Each department was down the hall, or across the street. I felt more like I was referring patients, rather than treating them.” So, she’s trained to do it all, and is excited to get started at Ringgold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. “I spent time here in April with Dr. Ricker, and just loved it. The people on staff were so incredibly nice and welcoming, and the patients were wonderful. I can’t wait to get started!”

Dr. Willcox and her husband Jason are living in Winterset with their three girls aged fourteen, five, and two. Her parents and siblings are still living in LeClaire, and they visit often. “It’s an easy drive!”

Dedicated to Helping Others

Josh Case

People like Josh are always there when we need them. Josh was born and raised in Mt. Ayr, and practically grew up in the fire house. His father was a fire fighter, so he was encouraged to follow in his footsteps. Upon graduation from high school in 2012, he signed on as volunteer fire fighter. Shortly thereafter, he spent months completing the training and certification required to be a search and rescue diver.

When he turned 21, he joined the Ringgold County Hospital ambulance crew as a driver. This super first responder is also a reserve police officer. He’s on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for these jobs. “I’m a busy guy,” admitted Josh. “As long as I can help someone, I’m happy,” he said. In his role as a search and rescue diver, he travels as far as 100 miles with the Midwest Regional Dive Team when they’re needed. “There are quite a few lakes and rivers in the area. It’s satisfying to know we’ve found a body for the family. But at the same time, you’ve found a body, so that’s tough.”

Being a part of the first responders community means a lot to Josh. “The guys are like family. They’re some of my best friends and I’ve known many of them, like the fire chief, all my life.” He’s on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for these jobs. “I’m a busy guy,” admitted Josh. When he’s not helping others in an emergency situation, Josh is happy hanging out with his extended family: aunts, uncles, and cousins. He enjoys being outdoors hunting and fishing and plans to stay in the area all his life. The community is all the better because of dedicated, caring people like Josh.

Summertime fire safety tips

Josh Case and other area fire fighters don’t want to visit your family this summer. As temperatures heat up, it’s important to remember that a fire can also heat up and rage out of control in as little as 30 seconds. Follow these tips to help prevent fires from starting in the first place:

• Replace your AC air filters regularly and never use an extension cord for a window AC unit.
• Keep the stove clean. Grease build-up can trigger a fire when contact with heat or a flame is made.
• Inspect your attic or basement for damaged wires. Rodents and insects can chew on and damage wiring, which can lead to an electrical fire.
• Take power surges and blown fuses in your home seriously. Flickering lights or occasional power surges could indicate a short somewhere in your home. Have it checked by an electrician.

• Position grills at least 10 feet away from your home, and never place under low hanging tree
branches or plants. When disposing of hot coals, drench them with water to make sure the fire is
• Obey burn bans. Never burn trash, leaves, or brush outdoors if there is a burn ban. If you can burn these items, have a water source readily available.
• Store flammable liquids such as gasoline, poisons, and other flammables safely outdoors. If possible, store them in a building not connected to your home.
• Use caution when parking vehicles on dry grass or brush as a hot exhaust could start a fire.

• Have cigarette smokers take it outside. Provide sand-filled containers to place cigarette butts, and make sure butts are completely extinguished.
• Develop a family fire escape plan and practice it once a month so everyone in the household
knows what to do in case of fire.
• Install smoke detectors in your home and test them monthly. Replace batteries at least once a year.
• Own a fire extinguisher and know where to find it.

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RCH Welcomes Podiatrist

Brian Rarick, DPM

Ringgold County Hospital is pleased to announce that Brian Rarick, DPM, has joined our staff of visiting physicians. Dr. Rarick will see patients on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. A specialist in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. , Dr. Rarick is welcoming new patients and accepts most insurance plans.

Call the Visiting Physician Clinic today to schedule your appointment: 641-464-4409.

Physical Therapists Join RCH


Nathan Greisen, PTA

Jill Johnson, DPT

What if a girl from Creston, IA, went to graduate school in Omaha, NE, and met her lab partner’s best friend? Then they discovered that his mother went to school with her aunt in Humphrey, NE, the town of 850 people where he grew up? What if they both ended up together in the Physical Therapy Department at Ringgold County Hospital in Mount. Ayr, IA?

This is just part of the true story that brought Jill Johnson and Nathan Greisen to RCH. Energetic and excited, the PT department’s two newest members started work full time in mid-April. They had been recruited several months earlier by Mitzi Hymbaugh, HR director for the hospital, to cover for another physical therapist that was on maternity leave. “We’re young and had decided to travel for a while before settling in one place,” said Jill. “We spent three months in New Mexico, then three months in Alabama. That’s when Mitzi called, and we headed here for the short term.” They ended up loving the staff and the community. It turned out there was a need in the PT department and they were both offered full-time positions. “They’re the right positions, at the right time. We’re really happy with the decision,” she added.

Nate’s undergraduate degree is in Exercise Science. He has a particular interest in sports performance and athletic injuries. “Lots of people become exercise specialists and work as personal trainers or go into corporate wellness,” said Nate. “After I graduated, I decided to pursue Physical Therapy and get a Physical Therapy Assistant degree.”

Jill always knew she wanted to be a Physical Therapist. She has a degree in Athletic Training and a doctorate in Physical Therapy. “I have my license in Athletic Training and I’d like to use it, but I went to PT school right away.”

Although they work in the same department, they do different work and help different patients every day. “In the mornings I work in cardiac rehab, pulmonary rehab, and help patients with peripheral artery disease,” said Nate. “In the afternoons I do strictly physical therapy.” Jill is doing physical therapy full time, along with the rest of the PT team: Jill Ehlen, Ruth Smith, and Shyanne Allen.

For a facility the size of Ringgold County Hospital, that seems to be a large staff. “You’d be surprised how busy we are,” said Jill. “We care for all the inpatients when we get orders from a doctor, and we have many outpatients who come with injuries, or are recovering from surgery.” She added that that for a smaller hospital, having an aquatic therapy pool, and new hypnotherapy services is unusual. “RCH is keeping up with what’s offered in bigger hospitals.”

Nate’s passion is sports performance, and he gets satisfaction working with athletes. But he also really enjoys working with the older population. “I like to use my entire knowledge base going into the rehab process.” Jill loves the variety of patients she gets to work with at RCH. “From pediatrics to a 94-year-old, I never know who will be a part of my day.” Both Nate and Jill are excited to be in Mount Ayr, working at Ringgold County Hospital, and doing what they’ve been trained to do. Jill is from Creston, “It’s close to where I grew up. I have family nearby, and at the same time, it’s refreshing to be in a new community.”

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